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Category: UPbeat

  • Abuse of Faith

    Abuse of Faith

    For centuries, people have looked to religion for salvation and understanding, seeking a sense of community in their congregations and a sense of purpose.

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  • Athletes face COVID challenges

    Athletes face COVID challenges

    When the NCAA made a decision to cancel competition and practices during the pandemic, LU athletes had to face an uncertain future. 

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  • Fast Mind, Slow Food

    Fast Mind, Slow Food

    To say Rebecca Boone is a polymath is a bit of an understatement. Lamar University’s Dr. Ralph and Edna Wooster Endowed Professor of history is the author of three books, a certified fitness instructor and mother, as well as the founder of Slow Food Beaumont, a non-profit organization which focuses on local cuisine and building up civic engagement through food.

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  • Lone Night Good

    Lone Night Good

    Photographer Brandi Hamilton's essay explores the different world one finds in the nighttime hours.

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  • From rags to Washington

    From rags to Washington

    A hidden gem within Lamar University’s Special Collections department is the Jack Brooks office replica. Brooks spent more than four decades as a U.S. representative and left a lasting legacy in the area.

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  • Yearbook collection records LU history

    Yearbook collection records LU history

    The Lamar University special collections department has a collection of yearbooks from Lamar’s founding as South Park Junior College in 1923 until 1976, when Lamar stopped printing yearbooks.

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  • Preserving history’s back pages

    Preserving history’s back pages

    When most people exit the elevator on Gray Library’s seventh floor, they often turn left to the study floor without thinking. But if one turns right, one enters a world of more than 20,000 books, artifacts and memorabilia.

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  • The Journaler

    The Journaler

    During the unique period the world is going through with the coronavirus pandemic, Dulce Rodriguez says her stress has not only doubled, but quadrupled since the semester started.

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  • The Influencer

    The Influencer

    Tumise Onalaja, known by her friends as Tumi, has been practicing her makeup skills to keep busy during COVID-19.

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  • The Swiftie

    The Swiftie

    Scott Sayre is a “Swiftie.” The San Antonio senior is an upbeat, obsessive fan who knows everything about Taylor Swift and always shakes the haters off.

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  • The Survivor

    The Survivor

    Through faith and competitive drive, Anderson Kopp has been able to overcome injuries and setbacks leading him to his second year as a shooting guard for the Lamar men’s basketball team.

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  • The Bike Girl

    The Bike Girl

    While not being able to go back to Nairobi in East Africa, Lamar University student Christine Kitaru found many new ways to entertain herself and keep her creativity in Coffeyville, Kansas, during the pandemic.

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  • Life in lights

    Life in lights

    When one walks into Daniel Dobelmann’s True Colors Neon shop, one is greeted with the glow of hand-crafted signs on the walls, the sounds of the different torches shaping glass, and the faint hum of electric lights.

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  • My mother’s daughter

    My mother’s daughter

    For the better part of my 20 years on earth, I have been troubled by relationship with my mom.

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  • Sister Wife

    Sister Wife

    LEWES, England — If one had to think of a singular word to describe the Anne of Cleves House, it would be unusual. Unusual architecture, unusual history, an unusual stop on a study abroad trip, but ever so fascinating.

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  • People: No Longer Lost in Translation

    People: No Longer Lost in Translation

    For many people, a conversation is sitting down with someone and exchanging words, emails, or text, but for sophomore Zayed Altamimi, it’s using sign language.

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  • People: Fresh Air Lover

    People: Fresh Air Lover

    Nineteen-year-old Edsel Damo is obsessed with the fresh smelling scents of truck air fresheners and has a huge collection to show for it.

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  • People: Giving Begins at Home

    People: Giving Begins at Home

    Houston senior Shannon Mills’ early beginnings with volunteering and community outreach started when she was 15-years old and was made aware of an animal shelter in need of help.

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  • People: The Modern Student

    People: The Modern Student

    Gideon Crump is a first-generation college student who is paving the way for his family.

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  • People: Taking Them All On

    People: Taking Them All On

    Elijah Keal may seem like he has all the time in the world when you find him studying and tutoring his fellow chemical engineering majors, but he’s more than just generous — the Port Arthur junior is president of the Student Engineering Council.

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  • People: Coasting Through Life

    People: Coasting Through Life

    One could say this girl is “coasting.” Julie Spicer began collecting coasters two years ago.

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  • People: Home for the Hollie-Days

    People: Home for the Hollie-Days

    When it comes to Christmas spirit, Hollie Atkins is brimming with it.

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  • Finding Polloman

    Finding Polloman

    When Port Arthur native Gonzalo Alvarez started gaining national attention for his video game, “Borders,” which depicts the journey immigrants take from Mexico to America, he was already working on his graphic novel, “The Legend of Polloman.”

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  • Ranchers React

    Ranchers React

    While water rescues were carried out in flooded Southeast Texas neighborhoods, local ranchers were relocating their livestock to higher ground to be safe from this unexpected natural disaster.

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  • Photographer Keith Carter reflects on career well lived

    Photographer Keith Carter reflects on career well lived

    Picture a little boy around the age of five standing outside, a brown Hawkeye camera around his neck as he snaps frame after frame. Fast forward about 15 years and picture that same little boy, now a young adult, standing, new camera in hand in front of a calm river where a few fishermen cast their rods in the hazy glow of sunset.

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  • Keep religion out of state business

    Keep religion out of state business

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”

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  • Athletic trainers heal more than injuries

    Athletic trainers heal more than injuries

    When an athlete goes down, whether it’s on a wet field, a dry court, or in the middle of a diamond or dirt road, the crowd goes silent as they wait to see if their favorite player, friend, son or daughter will get back up. In that moment, coaches, fans, media, family and friends do the only thing they can do — wait.

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  • Grace Granger

    Grace Granger

    When she begins her shift at the rock wall in the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center, Grace Granger takes no time in gearing up her harness and preparing to climb.

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  • Mason Mathews

    Mason Mathews

    Mason Mathews has been into plants since he could walk. “I spent a lot of time learning,” the Lumberton senior says. “I’d always watch and do everything.

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  • Jacob Hotchkiss

    Jacob Hotchkiss

    Jacob Hotchkiss’ curiosity about computers started in high school after he and a friend had gotten bored of playing Xbox and paying $60 for the Xbox live membership every year.

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  • Brittany Gonzalez

    Brittany Gonzalez

    Brittany Gonzalez has customized and designed clothes since she was a senior in high school. The Houston sophomore’s mother showed her the basics of the machine, and from there she experimented and taught herself.

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  • Amber Davis

    Amber Davis

    “What’s up, guys? Welcome back to my channel.” That’s Amber Davis’ catchphrase on her YouTube channel, “Just Amber J.” In a growing world of social influencers and internet famous stars, the Opelousas, La., junior strives to be a light in an easily influenced society.

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  • Madeline Brewer

    Madeline Brewer

    Madeline Brewer has always loved to dance. “When I was a senior in high school, I noticed there was a belly dancing studio in town — and really fell in love with it,” the Vidor senior says.

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  • Horsin’ around at Tyrrell Park

    Horsin’ around at Tyrrell Park

    The stables at Beaumont’s Tyrrell Park were built by the Civil Conservation Corps in the late ’30s and have housed hundreds of horses over the years. Now, nearly 80 years later, the stables are still in use and house a variety of rescue, personal and boarder horses.

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  • Serial Joiner

    A lot of people often ask how I have time for seven student organizations, being a full-time senior in college, working a part-time job and maintaining my social life. The honest answer is, I don’t. I have at least one mental breakdown every week.

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  • Sitting Duck

    It is 4 o’clock on a Sunday morning, the opening weekend of duck hunting season, and Jacques Ramirez is already up and preparing his equipment. He checks his boat, adjusting the camouflage netting. He checks the multiple duck decoys stored in a mesh bag, and makes sure his shotgun is in good order.

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  • Missing Link

    Imagine a Facebook message popping up one day from a long-lost family member. Now, imagine upon reading that message that you realize he or she lives within hours of you and has crossed your path several times.

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  • Face of Radio

    Joe Elwell puts his radio headset on over his Penn State University baseball cap as long curly white hairs stick out of his cap. An energetic voice reflects the personality that it belongs to as Elwell begins discussing classical music on his morning show.

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  • Silent Killers

    It was 1987, the AIDS crisis was in full swing, and Michael Therrien received news that changed his life forever. He was diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus — better known as HIV — which he contracted while serving in the United States Navy.

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  • People: ‘Jaws’ome

    What started out as Katey McCall’s mere obsession with sharks has turned into a “Jaws-ome” collection of teeth and jaws, and the knowledge to identify them.

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  • People: Dungeon Master

    For more than 40 years, groups have been getting together to play Dungeons and Dragons. For one Joe Way, the game allows a chance to break from his studies.

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  • People: ‘Acting’ Ranger

    “Since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a Power Ranger.” Austin Jones is a superfan of the hit franchise and an avid collector of merchandise.

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  • People: A Glass Half Full

    Is the glass half-empty or half-full? For Eduardo Martinez, the glass is part of his collection of cups. The Houston resident said he started his collection at young age. “I’ve been collecting cups since the age of 13,” he says.

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  • People: Mexican Hat Trick

    What is a hat? To most people, a hat is just an accessory, but for Justin Norris, a hat is much more. “I have always thought that you could tell everything about someone just by looking at the hats they wear,” he says. “I buy very specific hats.

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  • People: Magical Mickey Ears

    Ever since she was a little girl, Jayna Lacy has had a passion for Disney. Growing up, there was always a Disney movie playing on her family’s television, she says. “I have loved it ever since I saw ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Peter Pan.’

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  • To Be Replaced