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Snowmageddon: The Snow That Wasn’t

by Bama Porter, Opinion Editor

On  January 29, the people of small town Marion, Alabama, experienced a blizzard that shall not be easily forgotten.

All activities had been cancelled for that day. Students stayed up to watch as they were slowly buried in their frozen tomb, the windows slowly being covered by snow. Those few who were brave enough to venture out of their rooms were met with a blistering cold that made them regret their decisions.

I, for one, could not find myself leaving my room for anything. I stayed inside while constantly increasing the temperature in my room until it was a toasty eighty-five, which was barely enough to keep the frozen snow at bay.

I watched as my window slowly became a blank canvas, promising me that this would indeed be the foretold “snowmageddon” that they had promised. I could not see an end in sight. The snow had slowly became something more than snow. It had taken on a life of its own, suffocating everything that it could touch. It wanted revenge on the Southerners who had boasted to be immune to its frozen force. We thought we were safe. We had never seen anything like this. We were unprepared. There was no plan, no emergency protocols to take when Mother Nature decided that enough was enough. She wanted us to fear her. She wanted us to learn to respect her and acknowledge that we were in her mercy. I do not believe that we would have made it if it were not for the fact that we showed fear. We were afraid for our lives, so she took pity upon us. When she left, she left a message. The Southerners would never again believe themselves to be immune to the influence of Mother Nature.

At least that is what we were expecting to happen. What really happened was the combination of disappointment, boredom, and freedom. At first, people were disappointed by the lack of the fluffy white snow. Snowball fights had already been planned in anticipation for the snow. Now those plans were cancelled. The only thing that actually happened between the day before and then was the drop in temperature. It was cold enough for snow, but, without rain, there was none. Students now had an entire day free from class.

What did the students do with so much free time on their hands? Some of them ventured out to play Pokémon Go, while others stayed warm and comfortable inside their dorm rooms. Many of the students spent their free time either watching Netflix or studying for upcoming tests.

Although this day was wasted, it is better to be safe than sorry. Students were grateful for a surprise day of freedom from class. It was a chance for them to catch up on some much needed sleep, studying, or homework.

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Judson’s Ladies in Red

On February 16, 2019, Judson College held another spring Preview Day for new and prospective students. Preview Day is always a fun time when girls can stay overnight and then the next day learn about Judson and go on tours of the campus. None of this would be possible without Judson’s lovely ladies in red, the Ambassadors.

Judson Ambassadors are a select group of students chosen to host girls on Preview Day, give tours, and go to conferences to represent Judson College.

Behind every great group of ladies is a leader, and the president of the ambassadors is none other than senior Samantha Queijsen. Queijsen has always had that leadership quality since she was in high school, “I wanted to become an ambassador because in high school, I was in a club called National Honor Society, and they were the ambassadors for the school and I wanted to continue the guidance I gave to underclassmen in high school into college. On top of that mindset, my big sister was currently the president of Ambassadors and she gave me that extra push to apply.”

Taking over this role for the past two years has really given her a lot of self-discipline and the maturity she needs as a woman, “because I do have a role I hold not only to perspectives and students, but to my fellow Ambassadors as well.”

It takes a lot of hard work to become one of these ladies in red, but trying to be the president takes even more hard work. To be the president a woman must have, 1. A leadership quality to take control of whatever is asked of her, 2. She must able to give tasks to her fellow ambassadors and also know their strengths and weaknesses, and lastly 3. She must be kind to her fellow members as well as the rest of the campus.

Ashlee Kendrick, sophomore here at Judson, is also a Judson College Ambassador.  Kendrick finds it to be a great honor to serve and represent her school with pride, along with her other fellow members. Her favorite part of Preview Day is just showing off the school she knows and loves.

“Preview Day is a time where future Judson women get to make the biggest decision of their life. I am just so happy to be a part of that time in their lives.”

Kendrick said she has some advice to give future girls looking to become ambassadors. “If you love Judson and want to tell everyone about it, then being an ambassador is the best thing for you,” she said.

Kassidy Giles is also a sophomore and an ambassador. “Talking about Mother Judson to the new students and making those connections with the Board of Governors and the other alumnae is really exciting to me,” Giles said, “I also like making a new connection with the new students, because I feel like I’m matchmaking for my littles.” Giles also has some advice for anyone interested in joining the ambassadors, “Just show your love for Judson and be willing to go out of your comfort zone and meet new people.”

Finally, senior Lorna Wikle, says. “The reason why I decided to become an ambassador was because of the excitement I had when I was a new student that I want to share that experience with new students.” Preview Day means a lot to Wikle.

“It’s a day to make those new connections, to make that first impression to help a student choose to come here or not, and also to give a chance to make my college shine.” Wikle’s advice for future ambassadors is to “go into it for the right reasons, for others, not just yourself.”

As we see these ladies in red, they really try their best to make a lasting impression on the new students who come and tour and to everyone who comes in contact with them.

“It’s a day to make those new connections, to make that first impression to help a student choose to come here or not, and also to give chance to make my college shine,” says Wikle.

If anyone wants to apply in the future, go talk to Dean Jones, sponsor of the Ambassadors in her office on the second floor of Jewett or email her at



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Professor Opinions of Freshmen

by Bama Porter

Now that the professors have had time to get to know the new freshmen, I thought it would be a good time to get their impressions of them to see how they compare to other classes. Upon asking for their overall opinions of the freshmen, the professors agreed that the freshmen are doing well in their classes. Ray Price, Ph.D, states that the freshmen are “very diverse with a variety of interests and talents with aspirations for the future.” Laura Crawford, Ph.D, comments that “several of the freshmen are very interactive in a good way.” She told me about an instance in her class where a student asked a question about the lesson that she had not thought about herself. She also notes that students had “good attendance” and that “all of the absences that the students have had were excused.” So far, the freshmen have proved that they will be a great addition to the Judson family in the coming years because they have the drive and the passion for learning that has been a characteristic of Judson women for generations.

Professors were reluctant about comparing classes; however, some commented on how the students were doing in their classes. Jeremy Olson, Ph.D, revealed that it is hard to compare classes but all of the freshmen in his class seem to be interested in chemistry and do well. Joe Frazer, Ph.D, states that “a large group of freshmen are making the transition from high school to college, and is a part of the maturing process.” Frazer later on mentions that “it is difficult to tell who will still be here in the spring. If a student makes it to the end of their sophomore year, they will likely stay here. If we lose students, it is usually from their first or second semester here.” Price commented that “professors don’t try to stifle interests and they all frequently work with the students;” however he cannot compare classes because “too much is missing to talk.” He did state; however, that the freshmen had “integrity (which includes doing their job and being on time for class) and empathy for others (which is promoted at Judson).” Price did reveal that the students “are not taking advantage of the help that is offered at Judson,” which can help the grades that students are less than proud of. Frazer stated that “I believe that students can get help from any professor.”

As a freshman, I can agree that sometimes more is needed than the repetition of the material and that students can and should seek out help whenever they need it. This is especially true around midterms and finals, when classes have back-to-back tests that count for a good percentage of your grade. Sometimes all it takes is for the professor to go back over the material in a one-on-one study session. Other times, students need to learn from another student who has previously taken that class. Then there are the times when you could turn to other students who are in the same class to explain it in such a way that you can do it yourself. No matter how you learn, there are ways that your needs can be met here at Judson, if you are willing to find them.

To wrap up the interviews with the professors, I asked them if there was anything in particular that stood out about the freshmen class. Each of the professors I interviewed had different opinions, and all of them were good. Crawford states that the students “invest time in things that are not their major.” This is a key part of being a good student in any school. Just because you do not like the subject or the subject is not a part of your major does not mean that you should not try your best in that class. Olson observes that “the students [in his chemistry class] are talkative.” This can be either a good or a bad thing, according to how much talking is done and what they are talking about. If the students are being engaging and asking questions or discussing the material, then this is a good thing; however if students are just talking about the latest gossip, then this is a distraction. Frazer noticed that freshmen had “a good Marion Matters, and participation in activities outside of the classroom.” This is a core element of what being a Judson girl means because we care about the community we live in. Multiple activities occur throughout the year where students can get involved with their community. Price said that freshmen were “individually outstanding students in general. While some students are outstanding in academics, some are outstanding in athletics, and others stand out in other areas.” This goes back to the diversity amongst the freshmen.

Each student has her own uniqueness that sets her apart from the rest of the students. Just because a student is not the best at academics does not mean that the student cannot be excellent at something else. Albert Einstein once said that “Everyone is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” These are words that I believe people should try to live by. If people compare themselves to what others say is the “ideal” person, then they will never be happy with themselves. They will spend their whole lives believing that they are not good enough, but somewhere inside every person is the ability to be a genius in their own way. A genius does not necessarily have to be good at statistics or string theory, a genius can be good at art or music, or in anything that a person excels at. The whole point of living is to find what you are a genius at and show the world what makes you unique, and Judson is the perfect place to do that.

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Reflecting On Chapel Speakers of This Semester

Judson has been blessed with many excellent chapel speakers during the fall 2018 semester thanks to the chapel committee’s efforts to feed spiritual energy to each member of the Judson community.

Our first chapel speaker of the semester was Grace Thornton, a special assignments editor of “The Alabama Baptist.” She is also the author of the book “I Don’t Wait Anymore.” According to her personal blog “Grace for the Road” she identifies herself as being “passionate about knowing God through His Word and encouraging others to discover Him and let Him write the story of their lives too.” She is a church member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham.

On Sept. 18, we received John Killian as our chapel speaker of the day. He is a member of the Board of Governors of Judson College. According to “The Alabama Baptist” John Killian is the new director of missions for Fayette Association. He was a past president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, and he served as a pastor of Maytown Church for 19 years. He has two children and a wife, Jeanie.

Our third speaker of the semester, Terrence Jones who is a lead pastor of Strong Tower Church, Montgomery, came on Sept. 15. He was raised in a religious home, but he discovered his need of a Savior and turned to Him at the age of 19. He holds a Master of Divinity Degree from The Master’s Seminary in California. He married his partner in Christ who served together on their College campus, and they have five children.

On Oct. 2, we received Larry Hyche as our fourth speaker of the semester who is an associate in Global Missions for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. He specially serves for men’s spiritual development. He is a church member of Mount Hebron, Elmore.

Cory Horton was invited to speak on Oct. 9, and is a senior pastor of Elkdale Baptist Church. He is a passionate pastor who is zealous to make disciples of all nations. He holds a Masters of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He loves to see his church members have changed lives for His glory.

We received Chris Mills on Oct. 16, not only as a chapel speaker, but also as a student mission mobilizer by offering mission opportunities to students. He is an associate in Collegiate and Student Ministries and he works with community college campus ministers, international student ministries and assists in social media efforts for the office of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

On Oct. 23, we received Tracie Griggs as our speaker of the day. She is a member of Twelfth Street Baptist Church, Gadsden. She is a minster to children and young families. She joined the church as a staff member in January 2018.

Our second to last speaker of the semester on Oct. 30, was Ben Bowden, who is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church,Enterprise. Ben served as an associate pastor for four years before he became the senior pastor in 2015. Ben has been blessed with a wife and five children.

Our last speaker of the semester was Pilar Murphy, a church member of Provewell Baptist. She is an associate professor at the McWhorter School of Pharmacy in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. Murphy also served at Sowing Seeds of Hope in Marion.


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When the Curtains Close

Agnes (Lela Ball) presents a wounded hand to Mother Superior (Kassidy Giles). Photo by Sarah Combs.
Agnes (Lela Ball) presents a wounded hand to Mother Superior (Kassidy Giles). Photo by Sarah Combs.


Opening night. Those two words struck fear into our hearts as we waited in the backstage wing of the Alumnae Auditorium on the night of November 6. We three actresses had worked hard on this show, as always, but “Agnes of God” was unlike anything that we had ever participated in before—not only because it was being treated as a part of Judson’s Project Curiosity, but also because the twists and turns in Agnes’s story baffled us as actresses just as much as they baffled our audience.

The show, written by John Pielmeier, is about a state psychiatrist named Dr. Martha Livingstone (played by Grace Terry) who is assigned to the case of Agnes, a young, mentally-disturbed nun (played by Lela Ball) accused of murdering her newborn child and stuffing it in a wastepaper basket. However, she is unable to recall anything that happened on the nights of the birth and conception. This leaves the mystery up to Dr. Livingstone to solve, but the leader of the convent, Mother Miriam Ruth (played by myself) only wishes for Agnes to be left alone to fall on the mercy of the court.

Personally, this show was incredibly challenging to deal with. I’d never been in a show that deals with heavy topics such as sexual abuse, uncertainty of identity, and blurred lines between theology and mental health. From an actress’s viewpoint, it’s difficult to place yourself in the same situation that the characters of “Agnes of God” are in simply because it’s so unpleasant to think about. All three characters were so emotionally complex that finding an angle to portray the character was tedious—for example, portraying Mother Miriam too humbly would belittle the strong-minded facet of her personality that Pielmeier wished to project, but playing her too strongly would make her seem less like the Mother Superior of a convent and more like the antagonist in some cult horror film. Because of this complexity, playing the character felt like walking a tightrope or balancing a light switch between on and off. However, Grace, Lela, and I all agree that our experiences with such elaborate characters have provided us with a brand-new understanding of acting that we can all take forward with us as our acting careers progress.

While the show does answer many questions that the audience might have, such as what happened on the night of the birth and who is responsible for the child’s demise, the show leaves most questions unanswered and open to interpretation by the viewers. Additionally, there are many different fields of study that contribute to the thorough understanding of the plot of “Agnes of God”; not only does the show potentially appeal to religion and psychology students, but it also appeals to music, art, and social work students (just to name a few!). It was fascinating (and incredibly satisfying) as a performer to hear a multitude of students from several departments of study show such interest in a performance and want to know more about the play’s context.

It was also exhilarating to stand upon a stage with nervous adrenaline fueling your actions and observe the audience’s reactions to the execution of your lines. The show was performed in universal lighting (meaning that the house lights were on for the entirety of the performance), so it was easy to look out at the faces of those in the crowd and see their astonished expressions as they attempted to unravel the intricacies of the plot, as well as their empathetic reactions to the more emotionally-charged moments. It truly makes you connect with the show on a level that you’d never been able to achieve before, and I think that’s why “Agnes of God” was such an invigorating experience for all of us involved. Something about that feeling of pride and accomplishment that we all experienced after the curtains closed for the final time made us sigh with both relief and amazement, and the knowledge that we were a part of something that both entertained and perplexed our audience made our experience with the show more than worth it.



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Special Organ Recital by Henley Honors Brunson

Judson Trustee Jackie Brunson ‘58, donor of the Allen organ, and Christopher Henley, guest organist, at a special recital in Brunson’s honor on October 11. Photo credit Judson College Music Department.
Judson Trustee Jackie Brunson ‘58, donor of the Allen organ, and Christopher Henley, guest organist, at a special recital in Brunson’s honor on October 11. Photo credit Judson College Music Department.

The Alumnae Auditorium was full on the evening of October 11. The AE event featured Christopher Henley, a talented organist from Talladega, and an Allen organ donated by Trustee Jackie Brunson ’58 in 1996.

The organ is a 2-manual, digital MDS-36 and was donated in honor of Brunson’s husband, Dr. Emmett Thomas Brunson. Brunson herself earned her bachelor of arts in music education from Judson, and later received a masters of science in counseling and psychology in 1988 from Troy University. She was the second female in Judson history to be chair of the Board of Trustees, which she has been a member of since 1972.

Henley serves as both a church and concert organist and has received many accolades in his career, among which was being named one of the “20 Under 30” by “The Diapson Journal” for his work in organ/choral music. He played a variety of works in his concert, including three hymn tunes by Alabama native Sam Batt Owens.

Dr. St. Clair, who attended the University of Alabama at the same time as Henley while pursuing her doctorate, expressed her enthusiasm for the evening: “Chris is a gifted organist whose playing and performances always inspire me.” She continued, “His program selection was quite diverse, allowing him to illustrate every color and nuance of the Allen organ, and he played with great musicality, technical prowess, and passion.   He is a magnificent artist placing every single note exactly as he wants it to be.  The evening was a remarkable success.”

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Student LifeThe Triangle

Curious About CT Day? How to Graduate with Project Curiosity

Picture1As many freshmen have asked in recent days, “What is CT Day?” CT Day is short for “Critical Thinking Day.” This semester it was Friday, November 30, and it was a two-hour event in which students who are taking designated CT courses gave presentations on what they’ve been learning in those classes. Students who are not in these specific upper-level courses were required to attend four of these presentations and sign in to each session. This was a great time to get a feel for how CT Day works and to learn what your classmates are doing in other departments. There is a CT Day at the end of each semester at Judson.

This semester, students from classes like Intro to Abstract Algebra and Music History I gave presentations. English and history students presented on their research papers for English History to 1603 on topics such as the Celtic calendar. Students in Marketing had to research and decide how to promote products like Fitbit to theoretically increase profit margins. Cell Biology students gave PowerPoint presentations on neurodegenerative disorders like canine degenerative myelopathy, and the Spanish Syntax class wrote children’s books entirely in Spanish to present to their peers.

CT Day is the most visible aspect of Judson’s QEP, or Quality Enhancement Program, which is titled “Project Curiosity.” Since Dr. Robert Metty’s departure last year, Dr. Cindy St. Clair has become the head of the QEP committee. She recently hosted a CT presentation in Lowder on October 25 to explain how Project Curiosity works and what the CT requirements are.

The goal of Project Curiosity is to improve the intellectual environment of the college and to teach students to think critically both inside and outside the classroom. Though there are CT courses that focus more specifically on these goals, they apply to every class on campus. Students are required to take three CT courses before they graduate. One of these must be in the student’s major area (if she has multiple majors, there must be at least one in each major area). If the student is taking multiple CT courses in a single semester, only one of those will count toward the total three.

Upon completing a CT class, the presenters must go into their Moodle and open the class labeled QEP portfolio. Follow the instructions to upload the final paper/presentation for the class, the project rubric, and the provided self-assessment survey. These three things are required for each of the three CT classes, in addition to one final student reflective essay, in order to graduate. The reflective assignments help faculty and administration improve academics for future generations of Judson students.


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Joy to the World: 2018 Christmas Vespers

Photo by Pixabay.
Photo by Pixabay.

This year’s Christmas Vespers will be held on December 1 in Alumnae Auditorium and will be led by the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts. The event will offer a more theatrical vibe to celebrate Christ’s birth, organizers say.

“Vespers is a special service where we focus on Jesus as a newborn Savior,” said Dr. Cindy St. Clair, head of the Music Department. “It is a great time for all Judson community to come together to worship Christ.”

Christmas Vespers will be a collaborative work of Music, English, Religion, Social Work, and Distance Learning departments. The event’s main coordinators, St. Clair and  religion professor Stephanie Peek, have a joint vision of instilling a precious connection between the Christmas story and the Judson community in a brand-new way.

In previous years, Christmas Vespers has been joyfully celebrated in a choir concert, a musical celebration of Christ’s birth. This year, however, the event will take the form of a theater concert. There will be narration of the Christmas story read from Scripture by different speakers, along with Christmas music by the Judson Singers, music professors, and other music ensembles and accompanists.

“It’s not going to be a choir concert like it’s been in the past, so it’s going to be more like a service,” St. Clair said.

The narrators of the night will be Peek and Dr. Stacey Parham, chair of the Humanities and Fine Arts Division and head of the English Department. They will start with Scripture describing the Israelite people in exile, waiting for their missing king, and then share verses showing the King’s return after hundreds of years.

Peek said the purpose of the event is to “craft the service that can tell the story of Christ contextually so that we can put Christ’s birth in the context of the bigger narrative [of Scripture].”

The event will be all about making connections between students, faculty members, and staff. Those attending the event will receive the joy of good news for the Christian life and  be able to reconsider the story of Christmas — a story that is more than just the season of sweaters and presents.

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The Agents of Christ

Volunteers at the SSOH office deliver food bags. Photo by Judson College.
Volunteers at the SSOH office deliver food bags. Photo by Judson College.

Judson College is a proud Christian college because of two things: one is because of the Christ-loving community and two is the agents of Christ. Judson students daily receive two or three emails from our agents of Christ who are serving in the community with all of their hearts. This semester, the office of Faith Based Service and Learning has offered weekly service opportunities to students in various branches where they can serve the Marion community along with student leaders—the agents of Christ. The opportunities that are available are as follows:

Tutoring at Eagle Grove

Kayla Jones, a third-year senior, has been tutoring students at Eagle Grove Baptist Church.  She helps children work on their homework and other students are needed to help.

Sowing Seeds of Hope

One of the most helpful organizations in Perry County, Sowing Seeds of Hope is a place where students can participate in every branch of work. Two of our Judson agents are Aqui Lacy and Rebecca Carver who faithfully help out in the office of SSOH every Thursday. Aqui shares her reasons that she devotes herself to keep on going. “The reactions we get back from people and staffs there. Sometimes helping them organize files does not seem like that big of a deal but to some it is. And they are really thankful and appreciative for the help we bring to them in just that short hour.”

Lincoln Nutrition Site

This site is where the volunteers and adults spend time together when they have their lunch and build relations through conversations and playing games. The contact person for this opportunity, Hannah Woods, a third-year senior, says that her reason for going to the nutrition site is “because I love hearing people’s stories. The people at Lincoln have so much wisdom and knowledge to offer. I can make their day better just by listening and being interested in what they have to say. The body of Christ is multi-generational, and I think it is important to spend time with other people.”

Perry County Nursing Home

This opportunity is for everyone who loves to build new relationships with older people who always love to have visitors to their resident home. As one of the two residential homes for older adults in Perry County, Perry County Nursing Home is a place where volunteers can give love to the hearts of residents who do not receive the love that they deserve. Audri Thicklin is the contact agent for this opportunity. She states, “In order to obey God’s commandment, we have to be able to love the ones around us. The residents at the nursing home deserve love, and I felt led to be one of those people to do that. My heart is tugged every time I go there, and I know that it is where I am supposed to be serving.”

Shut-In Home Visits

This activity is an opportunity where volunteers visit elderly people in the community who aren’t able to leave their homes, and whose friends and family do not visit them as much as they would like them to. Volunteers spend time listening to their stories and learning about them, as they have been here for a long time and have a wide range of knowledge of Marion. The shut-in home visit opportunity is led by Leslie Wheat, a graduating senior, who shares the same feelings with the other agents who love elderly people as much as they do themselves. Wheat explains that her “greatest motivation is seeing how much our visits means to them, and their appreciativeness to us. Even though we think what we are doing seems so small, it means a lot to them to have someone to be with them even for a short time.”


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