Wingspan will not be open for the summer. Join us in the Fall, we will be launching a new website for the 2017-18 school year. Here are some of our top stories so far for 2017. Have a great summer.

Tuition to be raised in the fall of 2017

The Wyoming Community College Commission recently announced tuition will be raised starting in fall 2017.

On Thursday, Feb. 9, the WCCC voted to raise tuition within community colleges starting next academic year. The tuition increase will be $5 per credit for residents, $8 per credit for Western Undergraduate Exchange Students and $15 per credit for non-residents.

Along with the tuition increase, the commission voted to remove the tuition cap starting in fall 2018. Under the tuition cap, full-time students who are enrolled in 12 hours or more are charged for the cost of 12 hours. Now community colleges will charge for all credits, similar to what the University of Wyoming does.

The commission agreed to keep tuition frozen in 2018 at the new rates.

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What is this sportball thing?

Non-sports fan guesses definitions for sports terminology

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I never grew up around family members interested in sports. Because of this, when I was in public school, I had no interest in participating in sports. Now, here I am in college, and the only sports games I’ve ever watched are bits and pieces of basketball games.

Throughout my life, I’ve heard people use well-known sports terms in their everyday vocabulary. I never say it, but I always find myself wondering, “what did that mean?” So, I decided I’d give a shot at guessing the definitions of various sports terms.

Drop the gloves:

This is a boxing term in which the boxers finally get fed up with the match and think to themselves, “screw the rules.” They take their gloves off, throw them out of the ring and proceed to go all-out, Fists of Fury style. The referee can try to stop them, but to no avail; it is now a fight to the death.

Block and tackle:

This is another rather self-explanatory boxing term where a boxer will block an incoming jab and counter the attack by tackling the opponent. This move results in an immediate victory.

Hurler on the ditch:

Hurler is just another name for the pitcher in baseball, and so this is a baseball term used when a pitch is so powerful, the hurler finds themselves face-planting into the dirt immediately after the throw. If you’re pitching a ball 90 mph, I won’t judge you if you simply forget to let go of the ball in time.

Early bath:

This is a rarely used hockey term as it doesn’t occur often. An announcer will declare a hockey player as “having gone for an early bath” when the player accidentally breaks the ice beneath them and falls in. The game will immediately be forfeited by the team whose player fell into the ice water.

Under the wire:

A lesser-known rule in golf: After the player makes the swing, the ball cannot reach a higher altitude than the powerlines surrounding the course. When a player hits the ball and it goes too high in the air, it will be declared “over the wire.” The player will have to replay the shot and will lose a stroke.

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Profit vs. cost: How Athletics contributes

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Illustration by Floyd Whiting

When Laramie County Community College was facing a $2.5 million budget cut last semester, the Athletic Department was examined as a potential area in which to save money.

Financially, the Efficiency Committee, a group of LCCC faculty and staff who were tasked with making money-saving recommendations, reported the Athletic Department cost the college $1 million annually. But while athletics as a department may experience a financial loss, the department does contribute revenue back to the college while adding extra value, school officials say.

Rick Johnson, vice president for Administration and Finance, said the athletic department “in pure dollars, costs us more to have it all than the other way when just looking at dollars.”

Johnson also said, though, when evaluating the athletics department, the intangibles should also be considered. By having an athletics department or program at this school, Johnson said, there is a little bit of a draw for some students that might not otherwise want to be here.

In spring 2016, the LCCC Board of Trustees approved the reinstatement of the women’s basketball team. The addition brought 16 new students to campus who would not have otherwise considered choosing LCCC to further their education. Johnson said this increase in enrollment may contribute to an increase in the revenue seen in the Emporium, the LCCC Bookstore and other services provided on campus, in addition to contributing to an increased amount of state funding received from the Wyoming Community College Commission.

The WCCC currently provides funding to the seven Wyoming community colleges. The funding is calculated based on enrollment and program progression, with enrollment being the primary factor in determining how much each college receives. Johnson said the WCCC’s calculation model has changed since 2015 and will again be changing as the higher education models change.

“The model is changing so that it is measuring performance rather than headcount,” Johnson said.

In the 2015 fiscal year, the WCCC funding model showed the funding calculation was based 85 percent on the college’s enrollment and 15 percent on the students’ course completion. In the 2017 fiscal year, the funding calculation model was changed to mainly favor enrollment, but also give weight to participation, course completion and also the types of courses the college offers, such as distance education, traditional classrooms, highly technical, and laboratory courses.

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Ride the lightning

Instructor bringing metal back

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Alumnus gives back:

Ed Novtony shreds at LCCC.

Cody Fox

Ed Novotny, adjunct guitar instructor, adds the dynamics of being a heavy metal musician and a former student at Laramie County Community College to the music program.

Novotny has been working at LCCC since 2011. “I can work with students within a band setting or I can work with students in a choir setting,” Novotny said.

Novotny is originally from Rock Springs. He moved to Cheyenne when he was 8. “I went to school and I’ve kind of grown up here,” Novotny said.

Novotny also went to school in Minnesota but moved back here in 2009. “The economy was bad in Minnesota. I went to school around the time the economy tanked in 2008 and 2009. It kind of made sense to come back and to start again,” Novotny said.

Novotny went to school at LCCC where he earned degrees in music and elementary education. He earned his bachelors in guitar performance in Minnesota.

“My background is more heavy metal and rock, so I tend to bring that into what I do,” Novotny said. “Beth Kean is vocal, has a very classical background. Erin Bauer has the jazz background. I think we have a cool three-headed monster with our backgrounds.”

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Pondering what’s in the West Pond

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Bio Blitz:

Zac Roehrs instructs students during the fall semester attending Bio Blitz on the proper techniques of surveying the West Pond at LCCC. Roehrs has found different fish species thrive in the pond over the years, including Black Bullhead Catfish and goldfish.

Floyd Whiting

Entering through the west entrance, and continuing north on the Laramie County Community College campus, lies a thriving pond on the west side of campus that is home to a number of different species.

The West Pond is surrounded by greenery. On the west side of the pond, there is a natural snow fence of Ponderosa, Austrian and Cottonwood trees. The pond itself is circled by Willow trees. Fish populations change year to year as the water levels fluctuate in the West Pond.

Zac Roehrs, LCCC Biology instructor, has seen different types of species dominate the fish population. For instance, Roehrs has seen years where Black Bullhead Catfish take over the pond, and others where goldfish have taken the lead with an outsized inhabitance.

“I’ll say upfront, although I have a background broadly in wildlife and have studied fisheries,” said Roehrs. “I am not a fish biologist so maybe that is a normal thing, but to me, that’s kind of interesting to look at in the system.”

Aquatic creatures are not the only wildlife calling the West Pond home. Other animals such as bullfrogs and muskrats reside there as well. Birds such as ducks, sparrows, warblers, great blue herons, black-crowned night herons and kingfishers have also been in the pond. Roehrs has found a fish disease called Black Spot in the pond because of the birds.

Non-harmful to humans, the Black Spot disease results from the life cycle of a trematode, a class within parasites. First, the trematode finds a mate to reproduce with inside the bird, like a Great Blue Heron, Night Heron or Kingfisher. Once the trematode produces the eggs, those eggs then get transported to the water through the bird’s feces. The eggs will next end up inside snails and asexually reproduce. It is here that the fish will either consume the snail or snail tissue and the parasite takes residence in the fish and burrows under the scales, creating melanin to produce the black spot.

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Yellow has always been the new black

Fake news has been problematic since the birth of the nation

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Illustration by Isaiah Colbert

George Washington said, “The freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter.”

It is the plight of man to forget many of the struggles that have faced us as we grow as a nation. There are currently many people who believe the distrust of the media is something new, or that the media is only out to take your dollar while creating calm discourse and national frenzy, whatever that frenzy may currently be.

The media in the United States is, in fact, older than the nation itself. Thomas Paine used the printing press to inspire and inform a British colony to rebel and create the most powerful nation the world had ever known.

In the 1890s, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst owned newspapers that were well circulated and locked in a bitter competition with each other. That competition lead to what would become to be known as “yellow journalism,” and for years, the two media giants were blamed for spurring on the Spanish-American war.

The term “yellow journalism” is derived from the first commercially successful comic strip in the United States called Hogan’s Alley, drawn by Richard F. Outcault. The strip was published in color and featured a kid, down on his luck, wearing a large yellow sleeping gown. The Yellow Kid would come to symbolize sensational reporting and unreliable news.

Yellow journalism is the practice of creating sensational news stories that contain very little, if any, facts or reliable sources. Today, we see the practice named for what it truly is: Fake news.

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IR advisory council formed

Tucked away inside the Education and Enrichment Center, Director of Institutional Research Ann Murray took her department to the next level and crafted a group called the Institutional Research (IR) Advisory Council last semester.

The idea for the council grew out of Murray’s curiosity to know how effective her department was doing its jobs. Also, the council will be an alternate resource for the IR department to receive insight on different strategies to communicate the data to the public more understandably and effectively. Two heads are better than one, and the sole purpose of the council will be to assist the IR department in becoming more efficient, Murray said.

“I have a great staff in the IR Department,” Murray said. “They do great work, but as they do great work, and there is more and more emphasis on that, it seems like we have less time to do that one-on-one training with people.”

In the next couple of years, the IR department has strategic goals it wants to accomplish, and Murray said she believes the council will be able to help the IR department reach those goals. One of the many purposes of the council is to assist with education and communication within the IR department.

“Not everyone is a statistician. Not everybody knows how to work with the data,” Murray said.

For the past several years, the IR department has put an emphasis on using numerical data as a basis for decisions, and Murray said she understands that not everyone has the training to do so.

Seeking advice from the council, Murray said she is looking for possible solutions to equip people with the knowledge they need to not only know how to work with the data but to understand it.

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Athletes credit wins to superstitions

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“Superstitions provide people with the sense that they’ve done one more thing to try to ensure the outcome they are looking for.”

Stuart Vyse

Author of “Believing in Magic”

Superstitions can be a mental preparation or confidence booster some athletes use before a game. For some of those athletes, a developed or continued

superstition can depend on whether a game is won or lost, but some are just part of an athlete’s routine regardless of the win.

According to a WebMD article, “The Psychology of Superstition” by Sarah Albert, a superstition is a result of wanting more control or certainty for certain

situations, regardless of the personal preparation or performance. In the article, Stuart Vyse, PhD and author of “Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition” said, “Superstitions provide people with the sense that they’ve done one more thing to try to ensure the outcome they are looking for.”

However, not all pre-game rituals or beliefs are

Kevin Johnson, defensive player on the Laramie County Community College soccer team, listens to two songs on a loop for an hour before a game. Also, if the game is won, Johnson does not wash his uniform.

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New hiring processes consistent within LCCC

The hiring process for all positions, however, is the same and, with a recent formalization to the process, more consistent.

The hiring process can take two to six months, depending on the position that is vacant and how many people are involved. For example, LCCC president Dr. Joe Schaffer said, it takes about 60 days to hire a classified staff member. To hire for a position like faculty, the process is going to be extended closer to 90 days or more because candidates can be coming from across the country, which requires travel coordination to match from the candidate, their current employer, and the hiring committee. For executives, the process takes closer to 6 months; if all goes well, Schaffer said.

After the position vacancy is acknowledged, a review of the position’s description is done to make sure it matches what is needed within the college as an administration position or within the school the vacant position is specific to. In a nutshell, the hiring process consists of the following steps:

  1. Scoring rubric created based on position description
  2. Review candidate application materials
  3. Selection of candidates for first round of interviews
  4. Skype or phone interviews with each candidate
  5. Selection of candidates for first round of interviews
  6. On-campus meeting with Schaffer, deans, and screening committee
  7. Feedback sent to hiring manager
  8. Decision made

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LCCC SVA: New organization to support student veterans

The Student Veterans of America, under the guidance of Kevin Yarbrough, SVA faculty adviser and retired military, is slowly getting all the particulars together to make its presence official on campus. In the meantime, the group is using word of mouth to let people know where they are.

The LCCC SVA is a fairly new group on campus, as a chapter, or branch, of the national Student Veterans of America. Wesley Frain, the SVA chapter president and zoology major, said there was a veterans group on campus about six years ago, but it was more of a mental health support organization.

Yarbrough said the local SVA is open to all active and non-active military, including students who have military affiliation, such as a family member who has served or is currently serving, as well as any student who doesn’t have military affiliation but would like to give their support. The students without military affiliation will be considered honorary members.

The LCCC SVA meets from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Tuesday to discuss the process of integrating the group on campus in a more official capacity. This will help new student veterans coming to campus be aware there is a student organization available specifically for veterans, should they wish to participate. Currently, the group has taken a vacancy in the Crossroads building and formed a lounge area that is open for most of the day for student veterans to gather in between classes for studying or just relaxing.

Frain said there are currently about 10 regular members that come to the weekly meetings on Tuesdays and so far the group is represented by the different military branches, with the exception of the Coast Guard. The members include the LCCC SVA president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, non-officer members, and an honorary member.

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May 12

LCCC Commencement

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Click here to read the March security report