Global Education Philanthropists offers students humanitarian experience

By Tylee Hunt

Global Education Philanthropists invites all Dixie State University students to travel abroad and be the change.

GEP is a non-profit organization that serves those who suffer from poverty and disaster domestically and internationally, CEO Cammy Bowker said

GEP focuses on educating the villagers we serve in an effort to empower them,” Bowker said.

The local organization has traveled to Haiti numerous times in the last year and established projects for upcoming trips this summer. It has donated over 5,000 books, provided 1,200 meals, seen over 800 patients, and even offered relief to victims of trafficking.

A group recently returned home from volunteering in the Dominican Republic for the first time. Included in that group were two DSU students, Francesca Ravanelli, a junior business administration major from Trento, Italy, and Devin Anthony, a senior accounting major from St. George.

My experience was great,” Ravanelli said. It was my first trip for a non-profit where I was traveling for others and not for myself.

Their trip consisted of playing with children, reconstructing a swing set, assisting in medical needs, and even translating.

A lot of what we did was groundbreaking for future projects,” Anthony said

The group met with several organizations to go over local needs and plan how GEP will help them in the future.

There are many instances in life that we get tangled in the day to day events, consumed by stress with our jobs, family, relationships or health that we forget how fortunate we are,” Bowker saidAs a volunteer, we have the opportunity to help others on a larger scale, whether it be through community improvement, medical care, or education for those less fortunate. We are able to change their lives forever. Volunteers return with a newfound perspective, developing and understanding a new appreciation for life.

GEP’s goal in offering travel abroad opportunities to DSU students is to give real life experience to the global aspect of humanitarian work. Trip volunteers can expect to teach English, help build schools, help with construction projects in villages, work in orphanages, help with medical aid and more. Each trip also always needs a photographer and a videographer. Trips are tax deductible and are sure to be both a learning and life changing experience, Bowker said. Each trip differs in length and cost depending on the time, but the organization tries to travel during the same time as school breaks. 

To get involved, go to www.globalep.org or email [email protected]There are still spots available for May and June Humanitarian expeditions.  

Tennis double team sisters moving on to separate insitutions, tennis head coach prepared for changes

Twin sisters, Frances Hina Goldsmith, a sophomore general studies major from Honolulu, Hawaii, and Maria Kana Goldsmith, a sophomore general studies major from Honolulu, Hawaii, have played tennis for Dixie State University for two years.

After this 2018 spring semester both Kana and Hina have plans to move on from DSU.

“It’s been a dream come true for us to play at a collegiate level,” Hina said.

Hina will be attending the University of Utah in the fall and her sister Kana will be attending Brigham Young University.

When they first decided to come to DSU, both Hina and Kana said it was a no-brainer.

“DSU was the only school to offer the both of us a scholarship, and our parents wanted us to be together,” Hina said.

The twins achieved an 8-3 victory against California State University Los Angeles, April 19, which was their last match as Trailblazers in the PacWest Competition.

Although they have been playing competitive tennis since high school, neither of the Goldsmith’s intend on pursuing collegiate tennis at their future institutions.

“If anything I plan to help out [with other tennis teams] or play [tennis] as a hobby,” Kana said.

Kana mentioned that she didn’t feel that she was playing up to par in the beginning of the 2017-18 season but that she learned to improve.

“Never give up no matter what your circumstances may be,” Kana said. “There was a time that I thought I wasn’t going to improve, but by not giving up and with the support of my teammates and coaches I was able to bounce back.”

Head coach Eric Pelton said he was sad to hear from the Goldsmiths of their decision to transfer, and it is unfortunate to see the twins go, but he knows that change is constant especially around this time of year.

During the recruitment process two years ago, Pelton recognized the academic and athletic achievements of the Goldsmith twins and that it was what enticed him to invite them to play for the Trailblazers.

“They were good girls… it was a good deal, like a two for one,” Pelton said. “Usually you put a lot of effort into recruiting just one player but in this case we got two; it was like a bonus.”

Pelton said from his position as head coach he’s recognized Hina’s efforts in her single matches and mentioned that the twins’ double team has helped the tennis team pick up extra points overall in this past conference.

With a number of players lined up for next years roster Pelton and the team are preparing to enter into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for the 2018-19 season.

“The PacWest… was a strong conference,” Pelton said. “But unless we were the top teams, one or two in the nation the reality of winning that conference was not there. Our goal from this year in the PacWest and transitioning into the RMAC will go from being competitive to potentially of winning the [RMAC] conference.”

The tennis team finished its season with 9-10 in the PacWest Conference, moving onto next season, 2018-19 the Trailblazers will compete in the RMAC along with the rest of DSU athletics.

All DSU sport headed toward RMAC conference with new competitors, changes to come

All sports for Dixie State University will compete in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, with every sport other than football making the transition from the Pacific West Conference.

DSU football is currently a member of the RMAC having joined as an associate member of the conference before the 2016 season. DSU will be the sixteenth member of the conference going into the 2018-2019 academic year. 

The RMAC is made up of schools from Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska and South Dakota.

There is currently another member from Utah in the RMAC: Westminster University, after it joined in 2015. There are also other universities in the state having been in the conference at some point: University of Utah 1910-1937, Utah State University 1914-1937, Brigham Young University 1918-1937, Southern Utah University 1967-1986.

“Change is exciting,” said baseball head coach Chris Pfatenhauer. “New facilities, new hotels and new teams to compete against is always fun. We will continue to go about our business the same way we always have and try to compete at a very high level, no matter who is in the other dugout.”

Pfatenhauer said the baseball schedule will slightly change. Baseball will now play Friday-Sunday series in the conference as opposed to their normal PacWest schedule of a Thursday-Saturday series, along with not playing night games due to colder weather in spring for other schools in the conference. 

He also said the athletes will miss more school than th team are accustomed to due to the travel to RMAC schools.

Basketball and volleyball will feature scheduling changes as well.

Men’s basketball head coach Jon Judkins said they will play on Friday and Saturdays with game time being at 7:30 p.m. for conference games. Volleyball head coach Robyn Felder said volleyball will also be playing on Friday and Saturdays whether at home or on the road during the season.

“The PacWest has always been a little scattered for us,” Felder said. “We had Hawaii teams coming over and San Francisco teams we would play all week. We would have Thursday matches, Monday and Tuesday matches, and there was never a real consistent schedule.”

Felder said the new consistent schedule will benefit athletes in the classroom with the team no longer having to make weeklong trips to California or Hawaii, playing sometimes four games in six days.    

Felder said the team will also benefit as the RMAC has a conference tournament, something the PacWest lacked, with volleyball only needing to finish in the top eight of the conference to make the tournament.

Most of the teams in the RMAC has a “traveling partner” with DSU’s being Westminster, Felder said. When teams travel to play DSU on Friday’s they will travel to Salt Lake City to take on Westminister on Saturdays, with Westminster’s Friday opponent coming to DSU on Saturday. 

When on the road DSU and Westminster will play on Fridays against different schools, with the matchups on Saturdays being switched.

“Now that we are going I think there are a lot of us [coaches] that are excited to create an identity in the new conference,” Felder said. “Excited to play new teams and have all of the [DSU] teams under the same umbrella in the conference.”

Pfatenhauer, Judkins and Felder all said they would miss the weather and the travel to Hawaii and California from the PacWest. Felder and Pfatenhauer also said they will miss the relationships formed with other coaches in the conference.

“No one really like to change things,” Judkins said. “But sometimes change is good. I remember when we got into the PacWest it took a while to get things right. We will do whatever we have to, compete in the RMAC like we did in the PacWest.”

Post-graduation depression palpable for DSU alumni

Whether you are excited to graduate or nervous to be on your own, post-graduation depression is coming, and you might be its next target.

While there is no official diagnosis for post-graduation depression in the ICD-10 or the DSM-5, both used as Medical Coding References, Dylan Matsumori, director of the Health and Counseling Center, said it is a popular idea. 

“I have read a few new articles out there about the idea,” Matsumori said. “I know there is little to no research articles to support the specific diagnosis. However, based on the new articles I have read, the idea of post-graduation depression appears to be similar to an adjustment disorder.”

According to U.S National Library of Medicine, an adjustment disorder is a group of symptoms, such as stress, feeling sad or hopeless, and physical symptoms that can occur after you go through a stressful life event.

DSU alumna Jordan Mae Noyes graduated in May of 2017 and said she believes that post-graduation depression exists because some people have focused on nothing but school their whole lives. 

“It’s given them structure and friends,” Noyes said. “After graduation everything changes. Friends move away and you can lose that structure you’ve had the last 24 years of your life.”

Spencer Ricks is a DSU alumnus who graduated in December of 2017 with a bachelor’s in mass communication.

Ricks said he acknowledged the change between college and the real world after winter break. Once he had returned from home there was an uncertainty he felt of not knowing what the future would hold for him. However, Ricks said, “it was not depression.”

According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people suffer from depression, making it the leading cause of disability.

Leaving DSU was bittersweet for Ricks because he knew a lot of the things he built, the structure of his routine, and the professors he had would never be the same. 

“I don’t know of anyone who has experienced it,” said Ricks. “But that is probably because depression is something that most people like to keep to themselves.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 75 percent of mental-health conditions begin by age 24. With this in mind, it is important for graduates to reach out for help as soon as possible.

“I believe almost all mental illness is under reported,” Matsumori said. “It is an uncomfortable subject for so many people and is often seen as a weakness or failure.”

There is no way to predict which people will be affected by post-graduation depression, but Matsumori said it is important for students to prepare, make connections, develop coping skills and go to therapy if the depression worsens.

The The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-8255.


International Student Services budget not optimal

With tools such as recruitment trips and digital marketing, a $50,000 annual budget doesn’t quite make the cut in order for International Student Services to do what they need to do.

A main aspect of International Student Services is recruiting students from other countries, and in order to do that ISS will foster recruitment trips, use digital marketing for more expensive countries like Japan, and build relationships with agents or liaisons within those countries ISS wants to recruit students from.

Director of ISS Catherine Odera said its budget, which comes from the university, needs to be in the “ball park” of $100,000 to $150,000.

The strategic plan calls for an increase of international students by 5 percent of the student body by 2020,” Odera said. “That means our numbers will move from 180 to 500 (students) in two years, which is very rapid…it’s a very aggressive goal.”

Recruitment trips involve an ISS staff member traveling to a country, like China, where there are partnerships already created, Odera said. She said those traveling for these trips will meet and talk to local high school counselors and parents of potential students. Oftentimes, they will also present in recruitment fairs, where universities from all over the world will come and speak to potential students.

Odera said because of ISS’s budget, recruiters won’t go on more than two trips a year, and depending on the country or region, a recruitment trip can sometimes cost up to $2,000. That includes air tickets, food, lodging, and any internal fees from traveling place to place.

ISS must also go through a vetting process with the vice president and business services, and President Richard “Biff” Williams must sign off in order for a trip to happen.

“Before a trip is decided, we’ve done market research,” Odera said. “My big thing that I refuse to do is just going. A lot of questions go into it.”

Odera said the top five countries international students come from are Nigeria, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Colombia. However, according to data obtained from Dixie State University’s institutional research office, headcount from countries like China and Hong Kong has dropped since fall 2013. According to the data, 52 students came from China in fall 2013 and that number dropped down to 19 in fall 2017. In fall 2013, 21 students came from Hong Kong and in fall 2017 that number dropped to 10.

“[Institutional research] doesn’t track where we recruit from,” Andrea Brown, director of institutional research, wrote in an email. “My office only tracks where students come from (home country) once they are enrolled at DSU.”

As for the total number of international students present on campus, according to the data provided to the Dixie Sun, the number has dropped from 182 in fall 2013 to 163 in fall 2017.

Odera said tracking how many international students ISS recruits from different countries is difficult because recruiting abroad takes time. Odera gave an example and said if ISS was hoping to get eight students from Kenya, they have to contend with the fact that not all those eight students would get approved for U.S. Visas.

“We always have to factor in things such as we’re competing with other universities that may have given [students] admission papers as well,” Odera said. “Our big issue is the embassy. If they don’t get that Visa, it doesn’t matter how many admission papers we have sent out.”

Because ISS can’t travel to every country to recruit, ISS relies on digital marketing as well. One way ISS uses digital marketing is by having webinars with potential students by pairing them up with current international students at DSU.

For current international students, having resources on campus is important. Scott Miles, assistant professor of English as a Second Language, said besides ISS, international students have resources such as the Multicultural and Inclusion Center, the Writing Center and SHELL tutors, which stands for Students Helping English Language Learners. SHELL tutors are students from the education department who are getting their major with an ESL endorsement.

“So our students from the education department…are pretty much open for any student who wants to come in and practice English or ask questions,” Miles said. 

Although there aren’t any requirements for international students to attend DSU, Miles said they will give international student placement tests to see if they need to be in ESL courses. 

Another resource or aspect that is important for international students, Odera said, is student life and getting involved on campus. 

“We work very hard to get international students here; it’s not enough that they just go to the classroom, work and home,” Odera said. 

To learn more about ISS and its mission, students can visit international.dixie.edu.

Maxient creates, holds records for each student

By Tiffany Glenn

The depth of data Facebook keeps on its users recently came to light, but students may not know Dixie State University administrators are also tracking their conduct and keeping the records indefinitely.

Select members of the Dixie State University administration have access to a computer program that keeps records of student conduct matters, Title IX cases and housing issues. This log also includes any faculty, staff or citizen that may be involved in a problem on campus.

Ron Isaacson, interim director of campus police, said as the police, their job is to keep tabs on major issues such as illegal activities or health and safety issues; these instances can range from petty theft to suicide attempts on campus. Issues are dealt with as needed, and then they move on. That’s where Maxient comes in. 

Maxient is a computer software program for managing behavior records. It is used by more than 800 colleges and universities in North America. 

The program stores all qualifying incidents on campus and has the potential to cross reference information to create what the Maxient website describes as a “proactive watch list alert.”

Cindy Cole, associate general counsel and Title IX Coordinator, said they use Maxient for its convenience and assured that DSU does not utilize the “proactive watch list alert” feature of the program. 

“[Maxient isn’t] anything nefarious or bad,” Cole said, “It’s just a way to track things. Rather than having boxes of files, it’s all on the computer system.” 

Student conduct that may get filed in Maxient comes down to anything that would “rise to the level of a student conduct hearing,” Cole said. According to the Dixie State Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, that could include possession of illegal drugs or alcohol, reckless destruction of DSU equipment, hazing, stalking and more.

“I think [Maxient is] a good thing, but there should be a cap [on how long information is stored],” said Christian Gentry, a freshman general studies major from St. George. “Mistakes are mistakes, and what happens in the past should stay in the past.”

While only a few administrators have access to the information inside Maxient, anyone can submit a claim using the DSU website. All submitted claims are evaluated by an administrator and referred to the appropriate officials.


Faculty, staff review Status to Stature initiative at one-year mark

It has been over a year since Dixie State University’s Status to Stature Initiative was published, and goal leaders said, overall, DSU is on track to meet its benchmarks for 2020.

At the Strategic Plan Report Out Meeting April 17, goal leaders and their strategists had the chance to report to President Richard “Biff” Williams on the status of each goal and specific strategic paths.

Overall, leaders said the goals are on the right track, and they project continued success until 2020.

The first two goals, which focus on students and academics at DSU, are in good shape. Highlights include surpassed projections of 20 certificates and 60 emphases, five bachelor’s degree programs and the planning of seven new master’s programs. Also reported was, this fall, DSU will be offering its first, completely online program in nursing.

“I’m excited for all the new programs, and I’m excited that we’re ahead on a lot of them,” said Ali Threet, director of career services.

Threet also said online programs may boost retention rates and attract more non-traditional students to DSU.

The third goal’s focus, faculty and staff retention, was also reported to be in good standing with faculty being, for the most part, satisfied, said Goal Leader Paul Morris, vice president of administrative services.

Doajo Hicks, general counsel/chief diversity officer and goal leader, reported goal four, assessing diversity and equity progress, has met or surpassed all of its benchmarks except one: to have more female administrators on campus.

At the meeting Daneka Sourberbielle, director of the Multicultural Inclusion Center, reported 43 assessments done at Diesta, an event to connect the Hispanic community with DSU.

The assessments gauged the Hispanic community’s knowledge about DSU and its resources to better understand the needs of the community. These assessments will help DSU with community outreach in the future.

Another highlight is a Spanish version of the DSU website, which can be found at es.dixie.edu.

Goal leaders for goal five — strengthening community relationships — and goal six — strengthening the identity of DSU — said they have also been successful. Jordon Sharp, chief marketing and communication officer, said DSU’s rebranding project earned DSU the Utah Business “Sales and Marketer of The Year” award.

“This strategy of branding the university will never end,” Sharp said. “But we have made great strides and have much more planned for the future.”

There are still steps to be taken at DSU such as conducting climate surveys, gathering feedback, and building more specific strategies, such as a pathway to strengthening the athletic program under Athletic Director Jason Boothe.

“This past year we completed a robust strategic plan,” Boothe said. “We will be releasing that plan shortly, and you’ll then be able to see the exciting initiatives and growth we plan on achieving over the next five years.”

Overall, the Status to Stature strategic plan leaders and strategists said the initiative is on track, with very little setbacks occurring across the board. Strategists will create new goals once benchmarks are surpassed in order to encourage continued progress and motivation with each strategy and goal.

As reported by strategists at the Report Out Meeting, goal leaders don’t want to be “explosive” in their development, rather tedious and strategic as to ensure quality at DSU.

DSU to swear in newest officers

By Tiffany Glenn

Dixie State University welcomes its newest officer and will conduct a swearing-in ceremony for all new officers on May 3.

A designated official will swear in officers Eldon Gibb, Daniel “Ola” Kaonohi, and Juan Fulgencio, the newest addition to the force. The ceremony will take place in the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons building, in the Zion room at 3 p.m.

Due to the changing of the director of security, Fulgencio and Kaohohi hadn’t had a chance to be sworn-in, despite having worked on campus for a few months. Even though all police officers are sworn-in at the police academy, the DSU great security department performs their own official swearing in ceremonies when new officers come to work for DSU.


Alumni House acts as guardian of Dixie spirit

For the people who work for the Student Alumni Association at the Alumni House, it is a place for building relationships and a better future for graduates. 

For the past 13 years, the Alumni House has operated as the headquarters for the Alumni Association and was originally intended to be a home for the president of Dixie State University.

After the house was built in 1996, Robert C. Huddleston and his family were the first to live in the home. 

Linda Huddleston said her family lived in the house after it was built until 2005. She remembered her children would lay on the landing at the top of the stairs during meetings and dangle toys from there with string.

When the Huddleston’s left, Lee G. Caldwell and his wife moved in. The Caldwell’s only lived in the house briefly because Mrs. Caldwell had difficulty going up and down the stairs and they opted to purchase, a home that was easier for her to get around, Huddleston said.

Margaret Truman Marshall Alumni Association board member said Stephen and Marsha Wade donated funds for the building of the house and Delmont and Dan Truman provided plants for the gardens in the back of the house.

“It’s called the Truman Gardens,” Marshall said. “I don’t think many people know that because they never put up a plaque or anything.”

Director of Alumni Relations John Bowler said the Alumni House receives much of its funding from donation and renting the house for community events such as weddings, receptions and luncheons in addition to hosting DSU events like the recent world record breaking donut eating during this past D-Week.

“Most of the renting of the house goes back into the house,” Bowler said. “We just redid the floors.”

An undisclosed amount of funds for alumni events like tailgates and reunions come from private donations or state funding. Funds for DSU hosted events come from the school, such as the world record donut event this past D-Week, Bowler said. 

“It’s actually a house, but we’re making it into an environment that we can work in as well,” Tristin Stevenson, Student Alumni Association President said.

A main function of the house is to be a gathering place for the Alumni Association to accomplish its mission. That mission is to build relationships with those people who are on the Dixie State University campus and connect with the purposes of the school, so they can feel the “Dixie spirit” again and again.

As the campus grows, and more and more students become alumni, the Alumni Association has the challenge of making sure every alumna or alumnus feels connected in their own method of communication with the association, whether through the internet or hand-written letters.

“The biggest problem we’re going to have is we’ve never had 1,500 graduates before,” Bowler said. “That throws us a whole other challenge of how to connect with a millennial versus a baby boomer.”

The Alumni Association’s goal is to provide alumni, students of DSU and the community a connection to the Dixie spirit through having up to 25 events annually and providing learning opportunities for them, Stevenson said.  

“[The Alumni Association] is your lifeline to the university,” Board member ElnaRae Snow Page said. “They can reach out to that person, or that company and they’ll say, ‘Hey we’ll help here.’ It helps us financially — plus, it helps us build relationships between others.”

The association is like a family because once people graduate and become alumni,they are still a part of Dixie no matter how old they are, Marshall said.

“We’ve been alumni since 1966, but we graduated in 1965 and we still feel a part of this — as old we are — and it’s marvelous,” Marshall said. “You want to give, and you want to be a part of it.”

Being a part of the Student Alumni Association provides students with a resource for networking with the community and alumni before and after they graduate. They are the torch bearers who help students keep their torches lit; connecting fellow Trailblazers who have gone before so the light of their dreams and aspirations may never go out.

Editor’s Note: Being the ‘Voice of Dixie’ is a title, privilege

   Being the “Voice of Dixie” is not just a phrase or hashtag; it’s a title.

   As my time as editor-in-chief of a news organization I’ve spent three years with is dwindling down, I’ve been pondering exactly what it means to be a voice. 

   I chose journalism as my career because I love to tell stories, and there’s no better feeling than being able to tell someone else’s story and to get it right. For someone to trust you enough to tell you about their life, no matter how long or short, is something no journalist can deny as anything less than meaningful. 

  Although the dictionary will define voice in a literal sense, in the world of journalism it’s much more profound. And with student journalism, it’s not an easy task. 

   Being a voice at Dixie State University means spending long nights in the newsroom writing your story when your other class assignments are building up. It means having folders full of notes from dozens of sources and audio recordings filling up your space on your phone you don’t want to delete. It means you do more than stalk others on social media; you hunt for stories. It means struggling with finding those on campus who want to talk to you. It means keeping your ears open for stories you thought you would never need to cover. 

   I could go on, but there’s no need. It’s not an easy task being a student journalist, but it’s a privilege. 

   Journalism in general has a bad reputation, and in order to look at journalism differently or find appreciation for it, that starts with student journalists. Dixie Sun reporters, editors and photographers do what they do because they recognize the need to be a voice for DSU’s community. And I know next year’s editor-in-chief Ryann Heinlen recognizes that same need. 

   Although I will no longer be a voice present on DSU’s campus, I will appreciate and take the skills I have learned from the Dixie Sun to my career as I continue to be a voice for others.