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Archive | Featured Stories

the history of Valentine’s Day

Posted on 12 February 2014 by Harley Marsh

Harley Marsh

Valentine’s Day has a dark and bloody history, not what one would typically think while buying chocolates and roses for their loved ones. The exact history is unclear, but there are a few legends that have been pieced together to understand the origin of the holiday.

The exact saint that the day was named after is not certain, as the Catholic Church recognizes three different saints named Valentine, all of whom were martyred, according to the History Channel. One legend states that in third century, Rome Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men, having decided that single men made better soldiers than ones with families. Valentine believed this to be unjust and continued to marry young lovers in secret, but when he was found out, Claudius had him put to death.

In another legend, it is thought that Valentine was killed for trying to help Christians escape Roman prisons where they were beaten and tortured. It is also thought that while Valentine was imprisoned he sent the first “valentine” greeting to a young girl he fell in love with and signed it “From your Valentine.” This expression is still used today. It is unclear which of these legends are factual, but it is clear that Valentine is portrayed in a heroic and romantic light.

The exact date itself, February 14, is thought by some to be the anniversary of Valentine’s death but is believed by others to be set on this date in order to Christianize the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. According to NPR, Lupercalia was a fertility festival celebrated by Romans from February 13 to 15. During these days of feast, men sacrificed a goat and a dog and then whipped the women with the hides of the animals. The women were not against this ritual, as it was believed to make them fertile. Then they participated in a matchmaking lottery where young men drew women’s names from a jar. Participants were then coupled for the remaining of the festival and these matches often ended in marriage.

Lupercalia was deemed “un-Christian” in the fifth century and became outlawed when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as Valentine’s Day. However, it wasn’t until years later that the day became associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that the birds’ mating season began on February 14, which cemented the idea that the date would be associated with love.

Valentine’s Day began to pick up near the seventeenth century. Countries that celebrate it include the US, France, Australia, the UK, Canada, and Mexico. It began with hand written notes, but when innovations in technology began to take hold, printed cards began to replace the hand written ones. Now Valentine’s Day is the second largest holiday for greeting cards, with Christmas as the first. The History Channel claims women purchase nearly 85 percent of Valentine cards.

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That Awkward Moment Review

Posted on 12 February 2014 by Emily Mariani

Bailey Miller

The world of dating is full of those “awkward” moments. Moments in a relationship where one must decide where the relationship is going. The new male-character-driven, romantic comedy, That Awkward Moment, explores these moments from a unique perspective that isn’t usually explored in the romantic comedy genre.

The film star Zac Efron plays Jason, a young man who along with his friend Daniel, played by Miles Teller, agree to remain single and refrain from falling in love after their friend Mike, played by Michael B. Jordan, experiences a break-up. But the pact doesn’t go as planned, and all three men find themselves in “awkward” situations regarding their relationships. This romantic comedy is different than most in that the cast is male-driven, allowing audiences to see a different perspective on relationships.

The film currently has not fared well with critics. According to film review website Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently has a 22 percent positive rating with an average rating of 4.2/10, based on reviews from critics. The film seems to fall short in a few areas with critics, noting that some moments seemed to be unfunny and simply following a predictable formula of other romantic comedies. Audiences should also be aware of the film’s R rating and for the presence of frequent language and moments of raunchy humor.

Overall, the film is not perfect, however the charming cast of Efron and newcomers Teller and Jordan make up for the film’s downfalls. Moments of humorous dialogue and plenty of ogling at the ever handsome Efron, pull this movie out of romantic comedy obscurity, making it a likely pick for a Valentine’s Day matinee.

That Awkward Moment is currently showing at Cinemark Cinemas 5. For movie show times visit


Follow @baileyaleece

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Lone Survivor gets a good review

Posted on 29 January 2014 by Emily Mariani

Chad Bosel.Page Editor


This January’s box-office “hit” was Director Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg. Bill Simmons explains that the movie was “the most extraordinary war-film since ‘Saving Private Ryan.’”

            Lone Survivor is based on a four-man U.S. Navy Seal Team’s mission, “Operation Red Wings”, in 2005. Their mission was to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative, but fate took a turn when the team captured Taliban children and had to decide whether to kill them or let them go. The movie is also based on the New York Times bestseller Lone Survivor, co-authored by Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, the Navy Seal that Wahlberg plays in the movie.

The movie grossed a total of $38.9 million on the opening weekend. According to, it has jumped to the number two spot of January debut in history, coming in ahead of Star Wars: Special Edition, which sold $35 million in 1997, and almost reaching Cloverfield, which sold $40 million in 2008. reported that this enabled Lone Survivor to knock Frozen off the top spot. Other movies coming in behind Lone Survivor were Frozen at $15.1 million, The Wolf of Wall Street at $9 million and The Legend of Hercules at $8.6 million, which was tied with American Hustle. gave Lone Survivor a 74% rating that was based on 156 reviews, while 90% of approximately 50,000 audience members liked it. Don’t miss out on what is being called this generation’s Saving Private Ryan.

The Alliance Carnation Mall Theatre has show times today at 3 p.m., 7 p.m., and 10:15 p.m. or you can wait until tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 30, when Mount students get a discount off tickets. Show times on Thursday are the same as today.


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Major and Minor Spotlight: Education

Posted on 29 January 2014 by Harley Marsh

Harley Marsh

January 24, 2014


The education major is more than just learning how to teach. There’s a big misconception that it’s one of the easier majors on our campus but three juniors of the program are willing to dispel that rumor.

The education program is broken down into five sections. You can be in Early Childhood, Middle Childhood, Adolescent to Young Adult (AYA), Multi-Age, or Intervention Specialist. Intervention specialist deals with students with disabilities and can be paired with any of the other four branches of the program. Mount education students can also get an endorsement to their license to also teach grades four and five if they are in the early childhood major or have an endorsement to teach all four core subjects for grades four through six if they are in middle school.  AYA, Multi-Age, and Middle Childhood all focus on one or two particular concentrations.  For AYA, students actually choose one of four subjects to major in and education is actually their minor. The chart below further illustrates the options in the education program.

Licensure Area License Type Concentration Options
Early Childhood Pre K-34-5 Endorsement All subjects
Middle Childhood 4-94-6 Endorsement (to study all four concentrations) Language ArtsMathScienceSocial Studies
Adolescent to Young Adult (AYA) 7-12 Integrated Language ArtsIntegrated MathIntegrated Social StudiesScience, Chemistry, Physics

Life Science

Multi-age Pre K-12 Foreign/World LanguageHealthMusicPhysical Education

Visual Arts

Intervention Specialist Early Childhood (Pre K-3)Mild/Moderate (K-12) All subjects


“You don’t just learn how to teach, but you learn programs, lessons, and student behavior at that age and cognitive level,” said Junior and Middle Childhood Major Kelsey Kincaid. “You don’t just have to learn to prepare students for standardized tests, but their core classes.”

Education students in Ohio have to pay at least $210 to simply take the tests to get their license. Each individual test is $105 in Ohio, which is not as steep as the $150 fee from previous years but is still costly. Education students must take at least two tests, but depending on the license they want to obtain, some may have to take five or more. (That’s not counting whether or not they pass the test. If they don’t pass the test, they must pay to take it again.)

Every student has to at least attempt all of their tests before they begin their clinicals (student teaching), which is usually in the spring semester of their senior year. In addition to taking tests for the state of Ohio, education students must also pass a Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) during their student teaching. Education majors, not including the education minors, do not have to complete an SCE their final year at mount, but they do still have their clinicals and TPA, which replaces their SCE. The AYA students, who are education minors, have to complete their SCE within their major, and then also complete student teaching, state tests and the TPA.

On top of the fees, pre-clinicals, and clinicals, education students must also complete observation hours within their four years at Mount Union. This is where they travel to classrooms in different schools to observe and sometimes teach lessons. In addition to class hours at Mount Union, students have to complete observation hours, while still managing to maintain their homework and possibly a part-time job. Education students also have to acquire a 2.5 GPA and at least 50 credit hours by their junior semester to be accepted into the education program. After being accepted, they must maintain at least a C in all of their classes.

“People think the education major is easy, but it isn’t. You have to learn to create Individualized Education Programs (plans for the entire year, known as IEP), learn to create lesson plans and get them approved, and understand standards and relevant methods,” said Junior Danielle Dumski, a mild/moderate intervention specialist and early childhood major. “It’s 50% about principal and evaluation and 50% about student progress. Everyone’s three years is different. What you put into it is what you get out of it. The teaching program is what you make it.”

Junior and Intervention Specialist and Early Childhood Major Amanda Leigh describes why students like her, chose to take on a license to teach students with disabilities.

“Everybody deserves a fair shot. It’s very rewarding and fun. It’s an eye-opener because you see people with disabilities in everyday life and how they’re treated, and you think about it differently,” said Leigh.

Leigh, Dumski and Kincaid all praise the professors in their major. They stated that all of their professors are very open to helping them one-on-one. They also shared that this allowed them to get to know them well, which allowed the professors to share their experience in order to help the students better understand what actually happens in the classroom and to make lessons and methods relevant.

The education major also offers Kappa Delta Pi, which is for education students with honors. Students must have at least a 3.5 GPA. In addition, there is also the Student National Education Association (SNEA) for any education major, which gives opportunities to volunteer at local school districts. Their next volunteer project is going to Alliance Middle School and chaperoning the Valentine’s Day Dance.

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A Day On, Not Another Day Off

Posted on 25 January 2014 by Harley Marsh

To many students, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is just an extra day to sleep in and not go to class, but to a large group of Mount Students, it’s the opportunity to project the dream of Dr. King in working hand in hand in support and love of our community. Around 400 Mount students woke up bright and early Monday morning and showed up at the MAAC at 8:30 a.m. to volunteer around Alliance with different service organizations.

In charge of the Martin Luther King (MLK) Day of Service was Assistant Director for the Regula Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement Abigail Honaker.  This is her third year planning the Day of Service; last year had around 350 students participating.

“There are about twenty different service projects, so it’s everything from helping with a house that’s being redone for a family in need to helping at the homeless center, to a childcare center,” Honaker said. “This event is part of a national day of service, so lots of different groups across the country do it as ‘A day on, not another day off;’ that’s their motto that goes with it.”

Honaker reaches out every year for Day of Service to different service organizations around Alliance that she personally works with daily at the Regula Center.

Organizations that students volunteered at included Interfaith Childcare, Meals on Wheels, Feed My Sheep Ministries, the Alliance Community Food Pantry, Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, Historical Society, Alliance Friends Church, Nature Center, Bel Air Care Center, Sterling House and many others. The gymnasium roared with students all in their grey MLK shirts eager to volunteer from nine until noon with a free lunch after.

Students came for all different reasons, but they all claimed they love to give back. Some came for class, some came for their sorority or fraternity, and some came just for the experience.

Junior Rocco Ranallo came to serve the Alliance Community Food Pantry because of a positive experience he had with one of the owners.

“One of the guys who runs it came into one of my classes and talked about it. He was really cool and the work they do is really cool,” Ranallo said.  ”It’s set up like a grocery store for people on food stamps, people that can’t really afford to buy their own food. He said the people can take as much as they need based on income.”

Junior Christian Syrianoudis has been going to MLK Day of Service every year he has been at Mount. He started coming for a class and because he enjoyed the experience so much, he came back for the past two years. Syrianoudis did not have a preference to which organization he could help, he simply stated, “I’m just going wherever they need me.”

Senior Michael Pierce came with some of his brothers from Sigma Nu, a college fraternity known to help out every Thursday during the school year at Feed My Sheep Ministries, a local community dinner for Alliance residents. Pierce has been a part of the MLK Day of Service all four years he’s been at Mount. He shared that he really enjoys giving back to the community and helping others who can’t help themselves.

Junior Danielle Dumski and Sophomore Taylor Cline both stood near the sign for the Bel Air Senior Care Center. Dumski and Cline both volunteered last year and enjoyed it so much they wanted to return. Dumski and Cline are also getting service hours for their fraternity and sorority, Alpha Phi Omega and Alpha Chi Omega. Cline said she chose Bel Air specifically because she works at a nursing home in her hometown; this organization was close to her heart.

The roar of the crowd dulled as the students ushered close to each other for a photo op before they dispersed into Alliance. They looked upwards toward the camera holding signs that spelled out “Empowering Youth, Shine a Light, University of Mount Union”. Mount may have had a day off, but the number of students that took advantage of community service was awe-inspiring, a true picture of our generation empowered together, in memory of one man that fought for freedom and gave selfless love toward all of his brothers and sisters, a dream our generation still has for humanity no matter their race, sexual orientation, or financial status. With faith, we stand together to eradicate poverty and hate.

“With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together,” said Martin Luther King Jr. in his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech.

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Cross Country

Posted on 13 November 2013 by Taylor Jarvis

Cross Country Competes at OAC Championships


The University of Mount Union Cross Country teams traveled to Westerville, OH for this year’s OAC championship meet. A cool, still morning set the scene as runners prepped to tackle the muddy course terrain against the conference’s best talents. Despite top efforts from the opposing teams, it was the Purple Raiders who stood the strongest. The men’s team raced to their third OAC title in four years while the women finished second, three points behind competitor John Carroll.


Mount Union sophomore Alex Wilson was honored as the men’s individual champion (25:10.2). Other men’s top finishers include Dan McGeary (2nd place), Dylan Garritano (5), Jacob Boyer (11) and Matthew O’Neil (15). Top women’s finishers include Brooke Mathie (2), Catie Campbell (3), Jana Sleutz (8), Rachel Smith (11) and Miranda Stockton (13).


Coach Lucas recapped the meet, “I feel like we had a good OAC meet. Wish we could of won it on the women’s side but very proud of their efforts.”


Going into the season all eyes were on Mount Union. Both the men and women took first place in the OAC preseason poll, which brought high hopes and expectations to the program. As the season progressed, both sides showed these rankings were no mistake. Top men’s finisher Alex Wilson comments on another successful OAC championship meet, “One of our goals this season was to win the OAC, it’s something we did last year and wanted to do again this year. I think it shows that we have what it takes to be one of the nation’s top teams, we just have to stay focused these next couple of weeks and prove it.”


Brooke Mathie (junior) remains optimistic on the women’s side, “Obviously OAC was a bit of a disappointment for us…However, I still believe we ran well and I am confident in our abilities and chances to do well at regionals. I think coming so close to winning OAC was the reality check we needed and will serve as a spark to light the fire for regionals.”


Both teams now have two weeks to prepare for their regionals meet held in Grand Rapids, MI on Nov. 16. Lucas said, “I’m looking to improve on our performance at regionals. I think it is realistic for our women to be in the top four in the team standings and our men in the top two. I think that is what we will have to do in order for us to move on as a team to the National meet.”


For the latest information on the Purple Raiders, visit the teams’ websites:


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Volleyball OACs

Posted on 13 November 2013 by Taylor Jarvis

18 girls, one dream: to win the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) title. The Mount Union Women’s Volleyball team had a phenomenal season as it made its way to the OAC finals.

After a successful season of winning 26 out of 30 regular matches, the women had one last opponent that would determine the remainder of the season.

“The Heidelberg match was our biggest challenge” said Sara Brown, a junior, middle hitter, “it was our first game playing without our head coach and they were undefeated up to that point.”

Mount Union ended up beating Heidelberg in the last regular season match, 3-1. This earned the women a shared first-place OAC title and allowed Mount Union to host the 2013 OAC’s.

“My favorite memory from this season so far was beating Heidelberg to share the OAC title” said Mel Patterson, a junior, outside hitter, “it was an awesome feeling beating them in their own gym.”

The women went on to defeat Marietta, 3-0 and Otterbein, 3-0. The final game was played against Heidelberg on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the MAAC.

Mount Union ended up winning over Heidelberg, 3-0 at the OAC tournament finals. This win earned the women the title of OAC champions and ranked them No.10 in the nation. Four players in particular were given All-OAC Team honors. Senior Taylor Webb and junior Nicole Snyder earned a spot on All-OAC First Team, junior Lauren Mastroine was named OAC Libero of the Year and junior Sarah Sleich was an All-OAC honorable mention selection.

The upperclassmen on the team have come a long way since their freshman year.

“When our class came in freshman year a lot of the girls played right away,” said Schleich, a setter, “ there was a lot of growing up to do for such a young team, and I believe that experience was the one thing that helped us.  Playing together for three years now is a huge advantage.”

Patterson added:

“We have grown as a team since freshmen year by growing to understand people’s tendencies on the team and learning that everyone is going to have a bad day, but to pick that person up is the thing we need to do by the end of the day. We have learned to play as a team and play together. We ‘rise as one’!”

The women also find inspiration from famous athletes and quotes. Brown’s favorite words of wisdom are “The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”

Schleich’s looks up to Misty May Treanor, Olympic beach volleyball player. Schleich’s favorite advice is from Mia Hamm:

“You can’t just beat a team; you have to leave a lasting impression in their minds so they never want to see you again.”

The women also shared what they believe was the reason for success behind the season. Patterson said:

“I think the heart and fight that we have on this team is the success of this team those year. We have no desire to lose and we know we should never lose!”

Brown added:

“I think the reason behind our success this season was our ability to play with confidence and together and yet not underestimate any of our opponents.”

To get more information on how the season went, visit:



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Choosing a major

Posted on 13 November 2013 by Taylor Jarvis


From the time we are born up through the day of high school graduation, people ask us what we want to do with our lives, expecting us to know in a matter of 18 short years what we want to do for the next 50.

By taking a walk to HPCC and scheduling an appointment in the Center for Student Success, students who are struggling to declare a major can seek out professional opinions and advice. Of the 61 majors offered at the University, students who have yet to declare a major often find themselves crunched for time to find the path that suits them best.

According to Ron Holden, director of students in academic transition, a student finding a major that is right for them is a process that requires time.

“It’s better to plan at a leisurely pace and start early, so then you’re not so rushed and stressed to make a decision,” said Holden. “So it’s better to research and gather all of your information and have time to really let it soak in, and then explore more options. As opposed to thinking I really have to declare my major by this point so I have to hurry up and declare something. So start early in your exploration.”

According to Holden, the first step in helping a freshman choose the right path for them would include a conversation about what brought the student to the university and get some background on their home life. This will make it clear if there were any careers the person gave thought to in the past and also see if there were any motivations for those different areas of career.

The center offers three different tests to help students asses themselves and choose a path of study. These include a self-directed survey, a college score card and a 1 PF which can all tell different things.

“One will give you different areas of majors or studies you may be interested in. One will go from a career route, it will tell you different careers based on some personality traits that you have and then you can look to see what different people with the same personality traits have done career wise to give you some ideas,” Holden explained. “Also, we have 16 PF which gives you a full blown personality profile assessment.”

“As we’re going over the result there is a lengthy discussion,” stated Holden. “It’s not as simple as ‘take this, here’s your major.’”

Holden explained that this process involves thinking and introspecting on the goals, values and lifestyle a person want to lead after their journey at the university.

“I don’t interject, I feel like I am guiding them by asking a lot of questions. Asking them all the questions to find the answer that’s within themselves,” Holden shared.

The questions that Holden would ask a student would include their favorite subjects in high school, what subject matter they exceled in the most and what subject matter the student struggled with the most. Including all of those factors can help Holden determine if a student has a specific major in mind.

“If the student realizes they struggled with the main courses needed in high school for a specific area of study, I would have a frank discussion about the classes needed and a four-year plan to complete their degree,” said Holden. “It is important look at the four-year plans to see if it’s something they know they will really have to buckle down or have to focus and work at to complete.”

Holden encouraged student to try and not have blinders on and have more than one career in mind. If a student chooses a major because of one element of their personality is satisfied, Holden tries to configure a backup route to find another way to satisfy the student’s need.

“My approach is: there is more than one way to get to your end goal,” Holden stated.

After a student has found a major they wish to pursue, Holden recommends the student to do a little more research on the opportunities that the major offers and then talk with the department chair or professors in that area of study.

“We want to get as many people on board as possible with each student’s plan and process,” said Holden. “This way, the student is very informed on what their path and journey can be like.”

For example, if a student were looking towards a major in communication studies they would seek out the help of Department Chair of Communication Harry Paidas. According to Paidas, he would discuss the three different majors within the department to the student and help them decide which area they have the most interest in. From that point, he recommends a student becoming involved in the different student media opportunities on campus and also seek out an internship.

“The major subjects within communication are dynamic and the students who choose these fields need to leave Mount Union with a strong theoretical base and wide array of practical experiences,” said Paidas.

Just like Paidas believes in preparing a student a fully, so does Holden.

“I’m a firm believer in equipping students with all of the resources they need so they can make a firm decision before hand and adjust as they go based off of their own merit,” said Holden. “Any of your professors who are in a specific discipline can give advice.”

Students who come to the university with a major already in mind even seek out the advice from professors to help a student make a firm decision.

“Though I had the idea that I wanted to have a communication based major I refused to declare because I was not 100 percent sure,” Public Relations Major Caitlin Fessler stated. ”Once I took my Introduction to Communication class with Dr. Jamie Capuzza, I really knew I was sold on the public relations major.”

For an upperclassmen looking to declare their major versus a freshman, Holden says that the meeting he would have with this student would be a little different. The process itself is not going to be different, but it would be more intensive. This means instead of having a survey, taking it home and then coming back, Holden would have a longer session with the student to go through more things at once.

“There are several times that sophomores or juniors have come in looking to change their major or direction, or even declare their first direction,” said Holden. “We encourage them to look at the four year plan, and then try to see what kind of time frame they are looking at to complete that degree. We’ll see the possibility of them completing the program in allotted time and look at all of those options. From there, we’ll let the student make the decision. We never discourage a student from a particular area of study if it’s something they want.”


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Professor spotlight: Michael Kachilla

Posted on 09 November 2013 by Chad Bosel

If you are not a business major, you may not have heard of Professor Michael Kachilla. Kachilla teaches classes BUS 100: Intro to Business; BUS 243: Evaluating and Exploring Life Options, a freshman seminar; and a SCE course for healthcare management majors.

This is Kachilla’s fifth year teaching at the University of Mount Union.

But before Mount, Kachilla taught for two semesters at Muskingum University as an adjunct professor. He also served in the United States Military as a Marine. In the Marine Corps, Kachilla’s specialty was strategic planning.

“The way we planned in the military is very much the same way businesses plan,” Kachilla stated.

Kachilla was out of the military in ’97. He then started a business with his wife that they ran for 15 years before moving to teach at Mount. His wife also ran a retail business for five years.

Kachilla’s other experiences include working with the chamber of commerce, a private business association, where he was able to work with young and new businesses to help them improve.

“I had everything from a one-person business all the way up to Colgate-Palmolive with a 350-person manufacturing facility in Cambridge,” explained Kachilla.

He also coordinated with the local incubator and worked with the small-business development center helping businesses improve. Other than his background in military strategic planning, all of Kachilla’s experiences have been with small businesses. This background of developing and helping small businesses allows Kachilla to also be the director of the entrepreneurship program. In addition to teaching entrepreneurship classes, he teachers marketing and finance classes.

In his classes, Kachilla tries to incorporate one or two activities to reinforce learning points. When he does lecture, he encourages class discussion and asks students questions to further class participation during a lecture.

Kachilla’s favorite thing about teaching at Mount Union is watching students develop. By teaching intro classes, BUS 100 and BUS 243, and also being an internship coordinator, Kachilla is able to students grow over their time at Mount.

“I love to see the progression of the student that moves through, that may have struggled at the beginning, but now they are polished and ready to go,” stated Kachilla.  ”We do a very good job of preparing students for the job world.”

Kachilla recommends all students take BUS 100. He estimated that 20 percent of the class is usually non-business majors. He believes it gives students a well-rounded background for all businesses and lets them have an appreciation for what a small business does. The class also requires students to accomplish a major project where students identify a problem and create a solution that can be moved into a business.

“[BUS 100] Gives a good overview of how a business functions, what the important points in business are and so forth,” Kachilla said.

There are usually five sections of BUS 100 in the fall and two sections in the spring. The 2014 spring semester offers BUS 100 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:20 a.m. to 11:00 a.m with few seats left.

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Women’s swimming and diving

Posted on 09 November 2013 by Hannah Shaffer

The Mount Union women’s swimming and diving team members share their love for the sport while revealing their motivation and goals.

It appears that first, second and third times a charm as the women’s swimming and diving team has triumphed at each meet they have attended this season against Malone, Hiram and Defiance.

“Each practice, each race, each meet leads up to [the OAC Championship], and that’s when we are able to prove everything to ourselves, the team and the rest of conference. It’s an exhilarating feeling,” stated Sophomore Jessica Swanson.

Swanson is not the only one counting down the days until the OAC Championship.

“[The] OAC is the best time of the season- when everyone drops so much time and comes together for a common goal,” said Senior Shelbey Mitchell.

In addition to preparing for meets, the women are also busy fighting cancer and helping young swimmers reach their goals. The “Hour of Power Relay for Sarcoma Research” event is an hour-long relay race the team holds in November, raising money for sarcoma cancer research. The team also hosts swimming clinics for young swimmers hoping to improve their techniques. The clinics help raise funds for the team’s annual Florida training trip.

As a second-year team member at Mount Union, Swanson stated that she loves the opportunity the sport gives her to grow alongside her teammates.

“Knowing that I am growing physically, mentally and emotionally at the same level of some of the best friends I could ever have, makes me appreciate the team and the sport more than I could ever explain,” Swanson said.

When asked who her biggest inspiration in the sport was, Swanson named team member Rosemarie Aldo.

“She is the hardest worker I have ever known. She is a natural leader to the team, in the pool and out, and inspires me to put my all into swimming every day,” stated Swanson.

While Swanson looks to a teammate for motivation and encouragement, Mitchell states that her parents are her inspiration every day.

Mitchell has been a member of the swim team since her freshman year at Mount Union, affirming that the team has grown immensely in terms of commitment and intensity over the past four years.

Mitchell’s personal goals for the season include getting a national cut in two of her events and to make OAC for all individual events. As a 2014 graduate, she hopes to leave behind a positive impact on her teammates.

“I just want the team to know that you can accomplish your goals even with an injury [even] when it seems like all hope is lost,” Mitchell stated.

Great job ladies! Good luck with the rest of the season and just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…

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