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The Poet Laureate, Mary Swanders visited Upper Iowa University on March 27 as part of the Midwestern Literary Project.  She read from her book “The Girls on the Roof” that afternoon and that evening, everyone was invited to watch “VANG”, the play she wrote about recent immigrant farmers coming to the Midwest.  Photo courtesy of Allyson Herkowski.

The Poet Laureate, Mary Swanders visited Upper Iowa University on March 27 as part of the Midwestern Literary Project.  She read from her book “The Girls on the Roof” that afternoon and that evening, everyone was invited to watch “VANG”, the play she wrote about recent immigrant farmers coming to the Midwest.  Photo courtesy of Allyson Herkowski.

The Writing Center Hosts Midwestern Literary Project

Written by Samantha Vorwald

The Writing Center scheduled events for the entire day to celebrate Midwestern literature on Thursday, Mar. 27.  The events took place at the Fayette campus in the Liberal Arts building and student center.  Everybody was welcome to help celebrate literature from the Midwest.  The Poet Laureate Mary Swanders also joined and participated in some of the activities.

Swanders did a reading for students in the Liberal Arts Auditorium from her book ­­­­­“The Girls on the Roof.”  All students were welcome to attend.  “The Girls on the Roof” is a collection of poetry that tells a story describing life in the Midwest.  She also shared some back story with the audience about the publishing process and other stories.  After the reading was a poetry workshop in which everybody discussed poetry with the Poet Laureate herself, Mary Swanders.

Throughout the day, students, faculty and staff were invited to help the Writing Center compose a poem.  The poem was entitled, “Why I Write” and everybody was asked to write a line or two answering this question.  Later in the afternoon, the poem was read out loud at the circle of couches in the Student Center.  Everybody was once again invited to the poetry open mic.  Everybody could listen to the reading of “Why I Write.”  Everybody who attended the open mic event was also encouraged to bring a piece of their own or of a favorite author to share.

The final event of the Midwestern Literary Day was “VANG: A Play About Recent Immigrant Farmers.”  “VANG” was a play about immigrant farmers travelled to Iowa from their home country.  It was a play written by Swanders and performed by Matt Foss and Annie Feenstra.  Swanders was compiling stories for years of families who came to Iowa to settle down and farm.  These families were facing a variety of problems so they came to the United States.  This play also shared stories of the families after they got here and some of the problems they faced in Iowa.  Foss and Feenstra would relate these stories and switch characters flawlessly.  They signified the switching of characters by doing minor changes in clothes such as putting on or taking off a sweater or a scarf.  They used minimal props and in the background was a slideshow of pictures of the families and their farms.

“VANG” was the last event of the day and the day was certainly enjoyed by students, staff and faculty.  The Writing Center staff was pleased with the turnout for the activities.  The Writing Center will also continue to host events like this for the university community.  


Carlson Masterminds Giant Killing

Written by Gregg Fairley

The Upper Iowa men’s soccer team travelled to West Des Moines on Wednesday, April 9 to take on Division I opponent Drake University. They returned back to Fayette with a 5-3 win over the Bulldogs.

In a onesided first half, it was the Peacocks who took the lead against the run of play when Jared Newman was released down the right side and kicked the ball across the face of the box which ended up hitting a defender and going into the top corner for the goal. As UIU’s confidence grew, they kept possession of the ball and made the Bulldogs chase. However, the Bulldogs had a comeback before the half time whistle blew.

As the teams came out of half time, the Peacocks seemed buoyed by Coach Jason Carlson’s speech and the players took the game to the Bulldogs. The Peacocks took a deserved lead thanks to Leandro Pena who took the ball around the goalie and found the back of an empty goal. From that moment, Upper Iowa did not let up and was relentless. They then scored another goal thanks to a pass from Rafael Pedroso to his Brazilian counterpart, Hugo Alves.

The Peacocks found themselves up 4-1 after Jared Devine used his speed to beat the defender to the ball and knock in the fourth goal for the Peacocks. Forward Aaron Calkins chased down a ball from freshman Fausto Ordenana and Calkins forced yet another goal. With the score line at 5-1, the Peacocks seemed to relax, but Drake showed their class and managed to score two goals, bringing the final score to 5-3.

Up next for the Peacocks will be a home game against UW-Platteville at 5:00 p.m.

Women’s Tennis Victorious Over the Vikings

Written by Jordan Bell

The Upper Iowa women’s tennis team continued their season with a trip to the Black Hawk Tennis Center in Waterloo, Iowa to take on the Vikings of Augustana College in non-conference play. The Peacocks won the match with some difficulty

The 17th ranked Vikings sustained injuries during the match, which forced them to forfeit two points to the Peacocks. Nonetheless, Upper Iowa sealed the 6-3 upset victory thanks to outstanding displays from Iris Verweij, Saki Kawabata, Kelly Jachymowski and Victoria Kulbokas.

Kawabata and Jachymowski paired up at #2 doubles and earned an 8-5 victory to get the ball rolling. The Peacocks felt right at home as they took a 2-1 lead into singles play. Midway through the #1 doubles match, the Vikings’ suffered an injury and were forced to default the point. The injury allowed Verweij and Kulbokas to pick up the doubles win over Dana Goggin and her sister, Lauren Goggin.  The win improved Verweij and Kulbokas’ record to 8-5 this season.

The early momentum carried into singles action despite UIU dropping the #5 matchup. Verweij and Kawabata comfortably won as they took care of business at the #1 and #2 singles.  Verweij picked up a 6-0 victory in the first set before a stellar performance to finish off her opponent 7-5 in the second. Kawabata followed in the footsteps of her teammate as she scored two wins, 6-3 and 6-2. The Vikings were forced to default at #3 due to the prior injury and Kulbokas picked up the win. Rounding out the win for the home team was Jachymowski, who earned a 6-4 victory in the first set and a 6-1 victory in the second. With the win Jachymowski moved to 9-10 for the year in singles action.

Next up for the tennis team is NSIC/US Bank Women’s Tennis Tournament against number five ranked Winona State University.  They are scheduled to play on Apr. 26 at Minnetonka, Minn.  


Office of Student Development Hosts Awards Ceremony

Written by Samantha Vorwald

The Upper Iowa Office of Student Development honored its students who put in hard work and dedication in clubs and organizations this year. The hard work put forth by these individuals earned them honors such as achievement and distinguished service awards.

The night began with a welcome from the Dean of Student Development, Louise Stivers-Scott.  Scott also introduced the new provost, Dr. Kurt Wood, who gave a short speech.  The Masters of the Ceremony were graduate assistants Kayla Ludwigson and Amanda Passmore.  Together the two introduced the clubs, organizations and Greek sororities and fraternities.

          Appreciation awards were given to members of the following groups:

                    Upper Iowa choir and pep band

                    Peacock Experience: Encouraging a Positive Start (PEEPS)

                    Alternative Spring Break participants

                    Peacock Entertainment Crew (PEC)

                    Summer Orientation Assistants

                    Resident Assistants

                    Student mentors

                    Student Government Association

The participants in these clubs and organizations were given certificates of appreciation for their dedication.

This year’s members of the Student Government Association were Tim Rueb, Papa Pireku, Shay Enriquez, Kaitlyn Emanuel and Cody Booker.  The new members were acknowledged as well prior to the Passing of the Gown ceremony. Tim Rueb, the 2013-14 Student Body President, spoke first followed by his successor for the 2014-15 academic year, Cody Booker. 

The night continued with the distinguished service awards.  These were given to the clubs, organizations or Greek life that were very involved with campus and community life.  The Programs of the Year awards went to the Student Advisory Committee for their “Mr. Peacock Pageant” during Homecoming week in October.  For Greek life, Zeta Kappa Psi (ZKY) received the Distinguished Service Award for their “Fall Fest” when they provided games, activities and prizes for anybody who wanted to join in.

Also recognized were members from each club and organization who showed outstanding dedication.  Not only were members recognized, but also some advisors.  Alyssa Joseph was Advisor of the Year for Peacock Alumni for Student Traditions (P.A.S.T.) and Lynn Isvik was Advisor of the Year for Gamma Delta Phi.  Some organizations themselves were also recognized.  The Club or Organization of the year was P.A.S.T. and the New Organization of the Year was Chi Alpha.  The Greek Organization of the Year was ZKY.

Finally presented were the achievement awards.  The Global Citizenship Award went to Samuel Vivas Imparato and Kayla Ludwigson.  The Programmer of the Year for residence life was Hadeel Suliman.  Student Leadership and Adventure and Student Development members were also recognized for their achievements at UIU.

The ceremony ended with President Duffy giving some closing remarks.  He stressed the importance of involvement because of two points: being involved can impact the world through volunteering and being involved can also help to gain experience.

Overall, students and faculty gathered to celebrate the students for their achievements at UIU.  Numerous awards were given out that evening along with the introduction of the new student government members.

Student Spotlight: Mason Buster

Written by Gregg Fairley

A community college transfer from Brea, California, Mason Buster has already burst onto the scene on the baseball field.

His pitching coach, Kevin Post said, “Mason has come in and established himself through the fall and winter. We expect him to be in the starting rotation. He comes from a very strong junior college program and knows what it takes to be successful at a high level.”

Heading east from Brea, California (mentioned in the first sentence), Buster has settled into Iowa life seamlessly. 

Buster could not wait for the baseball season to start.  “That’s why I came to Upper Iowa. They have a strong squad and I just hope to add to that and continue to develop my own game. I would have liked to get our home openers out of the way sooner, but that’s the unpredictability of this weather.”

In the classroom, Mason is a solid student doing well in most of his classes. He is majoring in biology and working towards getting a minor in chemistry. Outside of baseball, Buster enjoys spending his down time with his friends and girlfriend.

After Upper Iowa, Mason has dreams of making it into the major leagues for baseball.  If that does not happen, he will not be hindered from pursuing other dreams.  He also wants to go to medical school into anesthesiology. Becoming a recognized doctor is his long term goal in life. 

Mustangs Plow Through the Peacocks

Written by Gregg Fairley

In their second spring game of the season, the Upper Iowa men’s soccer team took on their fierce rivals, the Mount Mercy University Mustangs on April 6 at Fayette.

For the opening minutes, both teams fought for everything. Then, the game settled down and it was clear to see the more dominant team. The Peacocks passed the ball around making the Mustangs gallop after them. However, with the space of a few seconds the game was flipped on its head. The Peacocks conceded a corner, and due to a lack of some sloppy marking, the Mustangs almost took an undeserved lead.

This seemed to kick the Mustangs into gear and they pulled ahead after some weak tackling in the midfield. Freshman Ty Johnson got bullied in the air and it went downhill from there. The defense found themselves out of position. Sophomore Troy Ewers was left to helplessly try and deny the Mustangs a one-on-one with goalkeeper and sophomore Andrew Rieckhoff. However, this wasn’t enough and the Mustangs managed to find the back of the net. Instantly though, the Peacocks showed their grit and determination. They kept working the opposition fullbacks and created opportunities galore. With little over 20 minutes remaining in the first half, sophomore Jared Newman found the back of the net with a delightful left footed volley, which looped up and over the goalkeeper.

After halftime, the Peacocks regained their dominance over the Mustangs and came close several times, with sophomores Simone Lupi and Jason Bishop both attacking their fullback and getting the ball into the box. But yet again, Head Coach Jason Carlson would be cursing his team’s luck with the Mustangs retaking the lead after seeing little of the ball. They played a long ball forward which allowed their man to get in behind the defense. He scored a shot through Rieckhoff’s hand and past the covering defender. The Peacocks couldn’t catch a break from there on.

After the game, Coach Carlson said, “I thought there were some positives to take from the game, especially in the defensive third. I think we really done a good job at shifting together compared to last week’s match against the alumni.”

Men’s Golf Competes at Quarry Oaks Collegiate Tournament

Written by Iris Verweij

The Upper Iowa men’s golf team played at the Quarry Oaks Collegiate tournament, in Ashland, Neb. on March 31. Upper Iowa traveled to the course for a 36-hole tourney both on Sunday and Monday. The Peacocks placed10th of the 10 teams in the competition.

Freshman Curtis Cooksley, who placed 25th overall, led the Peacocks as he shot an 80-81. Hunter Voigts, junior, got rounds of 81 and 88. Brady Loughren, junior, and Christian Archer, sophomore, scored 170’s. Archer went with a 79 on Sunday, but followed with a 91 on Monday. Loughren scored 88-82. At last, junior Landon Vinger finished the rounds with a 94 and 90. Overall, the Upper Iowa men’s golf team received a total of 669. As a team, they shot a 328 on Sunday, and a 341 on Monday.

Women’s Golf Travels to the Tiburon Invitational

Written by Iris Verweij

The Upper Iowa women’s golf team competed in the Tiburon Invitational March 30 and 31 hosted by Concordia University, St. Paul at the Tiburon Golf Club in Omaha, Neb.

The women’s golf team was led by senior Katie O’Loughlin.  After rounds of 84 and 88, she tied for 11th place overall. Sophomore Christy Nelson, who tied for 14th, had scores of 88 and 86 to get through the 36 holes. In 20th place, Grace Onsrud, freshman, worked hard to get a 93. Senior Katie Brossard and junior Carmen Lezpona rounded out the scoring fivesome for the Peacocks. Brossard scored a 93-95 and Lezpona scored a 98-93. Overall, the Peacocks finished in fourth place of the nine teams. Even though the Peacocks struggled, they scored 349 on Sunday and a 360 on Monday.

Freshman Monica Rohe and sophomore Kristina Helgeson both competed as individuals over the 36 holes. Rohe shot an 83 on Sunday, but had a tough Monday where she needed 91 strokes to tie for 14th overall. Helgeson placed 28th overall with a pair of 91s.

Searching for Jobs Via Social Media

Written by Hadeel Suliman

In this day and age, our lives are constantly being shared with strangers over the internet. This is effortlessly done through our extensive use of social media. Whether we are connecting with previous classmates, long lost lovers or just relatives on the other side of the globe, social media has a massive impact on us. Therefore, it not an odd matter to start looking for a career through the use of this addicting network system.

Previously, if you were seeking a job position, you had to do all the searching manually. From looking for companies, to figuring out their expectations and unwanted competition; it was all done manually. The story has completely changed now because as prospective employees, we do not have to do all the digging anymore. With a unique profile, you now have what it takes to let the employers look for you and eventually hire you. That can be through an online employment system, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or even your own personal blog and website.

Regardless of your career field, there is one social networking website and application that can highlight your talents appropriately. Employers look at LinkedIn pages as a visually appealing resume. Everything is organized by importance according to the viewers. You also have the ability to showcase your portfolio and link yourself to a diverse audience in your prospective industry. The more keywords you have and links, the larger is your chance of connecting with your future boss. LinkedIn has made the lives of job searchers easier as they can simply link the account to an already existing online employment system. This way, applying for jobs takes one step and it becomes less daunting of a task. Job offers are bound to come your way if you have an eye-catching title and personal summary. LinkedIn is also ranked as having the best record of employment by social media. 10.2 million Americans specify it is the reason for their current job. So instead of leaving your page bare, go ahead and revamp it.

Facebook also has a major role in the job world. As college students, we are more concerned about privacy settings than the average user. After all, nobody wants their future employer to find the evidence of their drunken spring break. However, not only should you be concerned with your pictures, employers also look at language. Excessive grammatical and spelling errors show that you may be careless or have a low attention to detail. This is a little contradicting to the cover letter you sent them that speaks of your detail-oriented mind. Not to scare you off, you are not required to censor everything, but express yourself within reason. Nobody wants their social life to reflect negatively on their work abilities and talent. Thus, 18.4 million smart users credit their current job to Facebook. Same goes with Twitter, which functions as a great place to relieve your mind of certain thoughts and gives a voice to your opinions. However, regularly commenting on sensitive topics ranging from politics to religion could potentially scare away your employer-to-be. Similar to Facebook, 8 million avid tweeters say their current jobs were offered to them through the micro-blogging website.

A personal blog or website has the ability to showcase the more creative side of you. Many people blog for the sheer joy of having an online journal. This active documentation shows your ability to produce content, even if it is just sharing your favorite recipes or passion for screenplays. It can be about anything and it develops a positive spin on your personality. Employers and mentors see depth and we always want them to consider us as passionate individuals instead of boring robots going about life. Even if it has nothing to do with your professional field, it can give a glimpse into who you truly are as a person. However, be smart to only share it if the content is not overly insensitive or can be evaluated in a negative manner.

You have the ability to earn a job position just by your social media presence. Consistency and updated profiles can help you achieve the attention you seek from future employers. Showing off your individuality while being appropriate with language can set you apart from the playing field of other individuals applying for the same job.  Use social media to your advantage and shine amongst the competition.