Tag: uco

Solar Eclipse of the Heart

retro science illustration of the solar eclipse with starry night background and typography. Web banner, card, poster or t-shirt design. vector illustration.Chances are, if you’ve been on the internet at all within the past week, two weeks or even month, you’ve probably heard about the solar eclipse coming to a sky near you on Monday, August 21. (Hey, isn’t there something else important happening at UCO on that day? Oh yeah! Welcome back, Bronchos!)

What even is a solar eclipse? 

Basically, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking all or part of the sun for up to three hours, from beginning to end. However, for this eclipse, the longest time that the moon will completely block the sun, at any given location, will be for a little less than 3 minutes (2 minutes and 40 seconds, to be exact).

So, what’s the big deal with this solar eclipse anyway? 

Well, we’re glad you asked. The last time the United States saw a total eclipse was in 1979. That’s almost 40 years ago. Think about it. In 1979, the Soviet Union was still a thing, ESPN was born, Michael Jackson dropped his first solo album, gas was 86 cents per gallon and your parents were probably still in elementary school. So, needless to say, a total solar eclipse (that we can actually see) is super rare.

Well then, how can I see it? 

Another great question! We asked Dr. David Stapleton, a professor in Central’s College of Mathematics and Science, to help spill the tea on all of this eclipse stuff.

“We will not be in the path of totality for the eclipse here in Oklahoma. For example, in OKC, only about 84% of the sun will be eclipsed at the peak eclipse time,” Dr. Stapleton said.

That means that we’ll see a little bit of the sun, but most of it will be covered by the moon. However, it’ll still be a pretty cool sight. BUT there are some important safety tips that you should follow.

“Here in Oklahoma, eye damage will occur when looking at the sun all during the eclipse, unless appropriate glasses are worn,” said Dr. Stapleton. “The eclipse may also be viewed indirectly, such as by viewing its image projected through a pinhole in the back of a box or onto the ground.”

So, if you’re strolling along campus on the first day of classes during the eclipse, don’t look up at the sun! WE REPEAT, DON’T LOOK UP AT THE SUN (unless you’re prepared).

But, I WANT to see the eclipse, how do I get prepared? 

Unfortunately, at this point, the majority of solar glasses are sold out. However, a little bird (Dr. Stapleton) told us that there might be solar glasses available at Westlake Ace Hardware, near the registers. There are A LOT of solar glasses being sold online that ARE NOT safe to look through during the eclipse. However, here’s a list from NASA (they kinda know about suns and moons and things) about where you can safely buy solar glasses (if they’re still available).

If they’re not available, don’t worry! With the help of some good, old-fashioned arts and crafts, you can still view the eclipse. Try making your own eclipse viewfinder for your camera, or you can make one out of a box. You can also try pinhole projection.

Whatever way you’re going to view it, make sure it’s the safe way (so you don’t go blind). Check out these tips from NASA on how to safely view the eclipse.

Want more information?

Visit the official Total Solar Eclipse 2017 website. And make sure to watch this cool video from NPR:

The Future of Food Science – The Bee’s Knees?

When you think of food science, you’re likely to picture an upscale restaurant serving a gastronomical feat – such as a balloon made of sugar – or the creation of a hybrid fruit. However, an assistant professor in Central’s Department of Human Environmental Sciences, Dr. Kanika Bhargava (Ph.D.), suggests that insects may be in food science’s future.

Insects? Like bugs?

You heard right.

“Insects as a food ingredient are gaining interest,” Dr. Bhargava said. That’s why Central’s Nutrition and Food Science Program, along with the Oklahoma section of the Institute of Food Technologists, hosted a lecture featuring Aaron T. Dossey, Ph.D., during UCO’s Food Science Symposium.

The lecture, a part of the Spring 2017 symposium, focused on the chemical and biological diversity of invertebrates (animals without backbones) to develop sustainable technologies and products in the areas of agriculture, food and medicine.

The symposium also featured the Cricket Powder Fortified Baked Good Tasting Event, which challenged UCO food and nutrition majors to bake muffins, brownies, cereal bars and sourdough bread with 15 to 20 percent cricket powder.

You read that correctly. Cricket powder – as in, powder made of crickets.

Dossey is editor of the new book “Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients” and the founder of All Things Bugs, a company that develops sustainable eco-friendly technologies from insects to improve food security and health. Dossey earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Florida. He is collaborating with Central’s Dr. Bhargava to apply advanced processing and evaluation technologies to insect-based food ingredients.

This type of technology is gaining traction, as symposium guests included Oklahoma food industry professionals from SONIC, Clements Foods Company, AdvancePierre Foods, BlendTech, McDonald’s Corporation, Shawnee Milling Company and OSU.

The symposium is part of Central’s Nutrition and Food Science graduate program, which strives to connect its students with internationally recognized faculty of registered dieticians and certified food scientists.

Who knew the future of food could be so buggy?

A Letter to Central’s Recent Graduates

As UCO grads settle into life post-graduation, Nathan Box, a Central alumnus (Broadcast Communications, ’07) penned a letter* to these new alumni on his own blog, offering sage advice for the future:

According to social media, another 1,000+ graduates turned their tassels at the University of Central Oklahoma. 10 years ago, I sat where they sat. As I listened to the names of my fellow graduates being read and watched as each accepted their degree, my mind was elsewhere. As soon as I walked off that basketball court, everything would be different. What was expected of me would change. My contributions would need to change. Responsibilities would shift fully in my direction. This life would become fully mine for the taking. The direction I had to choose was mine and mine alone. Happiness, success, contentment, and joy would be up to me. It all felt overwhelming. It was enough to make me want to get up walk out and pretend it never happened. Unfortunately, that simple act wouldn’t change facts. Turning my tassel and walking away from UCO would change everything. 

As many of my fellow graduates can attest, life came fast and it was nothing like what I expected. Your university experience and the experience shared by college students all around the country is really good at cementing confidence within you. The world is really good at putting you in your place. For some, jobs will come easily. For others, the road may be tiresome and disappointing. You may discover your degree prepared you perfectly or you want nothing to do with your chosen field. A few of you will find your dream job straight out of college. Most of you will spend your remaining years searching for something that may never come. It is my simple hope that our choice of institution prepared us for the paradoxes of life. I know it did for me. 

10 years later, I am not where I thought I would be. Perhaps, I suffered from delusions of grandeur. Maybe, I haven’t planned adequately. Maybe, I have missed opportunities. Or, maybe I am right where I am supposed to be. Only the test of time can judge such things. I, like many of you who graduated, live a life filled with fear of unmet potential. I don’t want my life to be wasted or lived in vain. I am of the belief that I only get one shot at this thing, therefore I should make the most of it. I know wholeheartedly that my education prepared me to squash my fear. In my mind, that preparation was worth the price of admission. If UCO is worth anything, you will be saying the same thing 10 years from now. 

Be good to each other, 

-Nathan 

* This letter was edited for minor grammatical errors. View the original post by Nathan.

#FlockGoals: The UCO Geese Story

UCO’s resident geese are no strangers to the spotlight. They’ve been entertaining students for years, first on campus, and now on Twitter, as @UCOGeese.

The UCO Geese Twitter account is an extremely popular student-run account, with more than 800 followers. Inside Central got an exclusive interview with the anonymous student who runs the @UCOGeese account, and he/she wants to inform students that the geese are royalty and demand to be treated as such.

This is their story.

The word on the street is that they come from a very prestigious Canadian goose family. According to our anonymous source, the UCO geese are “of a higher deity than anyone else around them,” which means that we have some seriously special geese waddling around. Sources tell us that their favorite place to hang out on campus is on top of tall buildings, so they can maintain the higher ground and establish dominance over the students – because, after all, they are better than everyone else.

It has been said that the geese establish their high-glam nests on Central’s campus, because it’s a great place to raise their royal goslings. The first order of business when they arrived on campus was to take over Broncho Lake, another flock favorite, and they’ve been slowly expanding ever since.

Did you know that every female goose can lay between 2-9 eggs? This means that we could be expecting upwards of 30 royal goslings this spring! We know that students love to interact with the geese, but @UCOGeese has warned us to please proceed with caution and give them space. They will be protecting their nests at all costs, even if it means nibbling on someone’s toe.

Though not a surprise, our source says that the UCO geese love to be fed, but they mentioned that they are on a strict no-bread diet. To stay on their good side, feed them cooked rice, birdseed or halved grapes. Please do not feed the geese bread, because it makes them sick and goes straight to their hips. They are really trying to maintain their goosley figures.

@UCOGeese says that the geese are all for making friends, as long as students are aware that they are always going to be better than them. They will be kind to those who are kind to them, unless they just feel like trolling people that day – then, you’re out of luck.

At the end of our chat, we asked about the gaggle’s goals and aspirations; we were told that their ultimate goal is to eventually take over the world. So, respect the geese, because let’s be honest. They’re definitely #SquadGoals.

UCO Students Dance Their Way to a Better World

University of Central Oklahoma students are brushing up on all of the latest moves for participation in BronchoThon, an 8-hour dance marathon dedicated to the many children who are assisted by Children’s Miracle Network. BronchoThon is UCO’s version of popular dance marathons done by universities throughout the nation. BronchoThon is new to UCO this semester, taking the place of Spring Sing, and will generate awareness and financial support for the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Foundation, an affiliate of the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. BronchoThon will include musical entertainment, student-led activities, refreshments and, of course, dancing. At the end, everyone will celebrate the total amount of money raised.

“BronchoThon is a philanthropy composed of college students who want to make a difference and fight for the next generation. We believe that every kid should have the opportunity to dance, fight, and live. BronchoThon is how we act out on that belief.”

UCO students can sign up for BronchoThon either as an individual dancer or with an organization. The registration cost is $25 per dancer. Throughout the spring semester, students will attend benefit nights, complete tasks and fundraise to earn points. These points are called Miracle Points, and the organization that has the most Miracle Points by the night of BronchoThon will receive an award called the Miracle Cup. There is also a Miracle Cup for the individual who earns the most Miracle Points. In addition, there will be an organization that is the overall winner of BronchoThon, considered the “Overall Miracle Cup Champion.” The Miracle Cup is a great incentive, evoking healthy competition that will encourage students to raise more money for the cause.

Ride on, Bronchos

After a successful fall semester, Central’s Safe Ride program, a partnership between UCO and Uber, lives on.

For the Spring 2017 semester, students can request free rides up to $15 on the Uber app, from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from January until May. Students can take six trips, within the Edmond and surrounding areas, during the semester.

Are you new to Uber? No problem! Just download the Uber app and create an account profile using your @uco.edu email address. You can then enter the code UCOSPRING17 into the Promotions section of the app.

Already using Uber? You’re all set! Update your profile with your @uco.edu email address, if you haven’t done so already, and enter the code UCOSPRING17. If you participated in the program last semester, just enter the code and Uber away!

Taking Paws to De-Stress

College can be stressful. It’s a well-known fact that between classes, extra-curricular activities, social events and jobs, college students can experience high levels of stress.

In order to help students de-stress, Central’s Center for Counseling and Well-Being hosts a weekly event “Stress Paws” with three H.A.L.O.-certified therapy dogs each Thursday from 3-5 p.m. on the fourth floor of Nigh University Center.

Human Animal Link of Oklahoma (H.A.L.O.) was founded on the belief that dogs and humans can form wonderful and mutually-beneficial relationships. H.A.L.O. is a nonprofit organization that provides animal-assisted therapy to patients, residents and students.

“We are a Central family. My husband and I met at UCO when we were 18, and our kids were Bronchos as well,” said H.A.L.O.’s Executive Director Terri Smith.

“We love being able to partner with our Alma Mater and share our therapy dogs with its students!”

Ride-Sharing is Caring

For the Fall 2016 semester, the UCO Student Association (UCOSA) partnered with Uber to offer free rides to UCO students on the weekends. In typical college student fashion, Bronchos took full advantage of the situation. Here’s a look at what a few students had to say about their experiences:

The Singing Student

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“I frequently use the UCO Uber on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. It’s been great! Kept me out of a lot of trouble by making the right decision by getting one. I think it’s impacted this campus big time by reminding students that it’s okay to drink, but be safe by using Uber instead of driving!”

– Dillon, pre-med major from Newcastle, OK

Being Involved at UCO

By Riley Cole, junior strategic communication major, leadership minor

Being involved at UCO has allowed me to become connected to campus, understanding the history and richness Central embodies. I have built community like no other. I’ve discovered my passion and strengths, and built my resume more and more. So it seems, busier students do better in all areas; I’ve found this to be true.

Serving as a chapter president I’ve been stretched and strengthened more than I could have ever imagined. If it wasn’t for peers who saw potential in me and encouraged me to step up in leadership roles, I would have never had the opportunity to become a member of Sigma Phi Lambda and serve as president. This role has given me immense opportunities on campus, influence in areas I never would’ve dreamed and friendships that will last forever.

Getting involved at UCO has greatly enhanced my college experience. I would not be the leader, student, friend or sister I am if it wasn’t for the organizations I’ve invested in.

Editor’s note: Cole is a member of the following organizations:

  • Sigma Phi Lambda (president, chaplain, homecoming chair, cheer and dance choreographer and Spring Sing chair);
  • President’s Leadership Council (senior representative);
  • New Broncho Orientation (Stampede Week director); and,
  • Hooves Up (rally coordinator).

Cosmetic Surgery for the Max Chambers Library

By Christine Edwards, librarian, Max Chambers Library

This summer the UCO library is undergoing a bit of a face lift. Among the top of these procedures is a re-flooring of the main staircase. Tiles have been torn up and the steps lay bare awaiting their new coverings. Complementing the update of the stairs, a fresh paint job is being applied to all those dusty white (or formerly white) pillars that crisscross the atrium. The expansively high ceilings have required the use of some heavy equipment which has the librarians and students listening to a lovely chorus of “beep, beep, beep” as they maneuver around the first floor. This also required the unfortunate closing off of the east entrance. Want that Starbucks coffee from the Outtakes Café? Need a study snack? You’ll have to walk all the way around the outside for the time being.

If you’re tired of walking, then you might choose to take the elevator instead of the stairs when you come back to study. Look down during your ride and you’ll notice the shiny new floor. No more suspicious-smelling carpet in these lifts! It has been replaced by an easy-to-clean alternative and we are oh so happy about it.

So, while the construction might be inconvenient for the moment, the end result will be well worth the pain of the process and a cosmetically enhanced library will be able to welcome you back in the fall.

— Photo provided by Jeff Musslewhite, library technician III, Max Chambers Library