Lessons for the graphic artist: Discussion by Erick Pfleiderer


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Alumni speaker Erick Pfleiderer spoke to students about the tools needed to achieve a successful career in graphic design. Photo by Val Petsche.

Staff Writer

Visiting graphic artist and SU alumni Erick Pfleiderer spoke Thursday evening in Fulton Hall to provide insight about a successful career in graphic design.

Pfleiderer is the creative director and strategist at Taoti Creative in D.C. as of 2016. He started out as a graphic artist for Salisbury University with the Office of Student Activities before rising through the ranks at SPARK Experience design, the Charles Regional Medical Center and Tim Kenny Marketing, among others.

He has received over 35 design awards across a variety of mediums, and past clients include Pepsi, the Washington National Cathedral organization, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Reserve.

Pfleiderer discussed a variety of lessons learned following each job experience, as well as what it takes to land your first job and how to perform well during an interview. He additionally suggested using summers to work at an internship as a way to learn more skills and broaden one’s knowledge base in the field.

“You really have to take advantage of every opportunity,” Pfleiderer said, referring to the importance of experience over money. For him, getting a foot in the door is invaluable whenever possible.

His career path began with an interview at the College of Southern Maryland, where poor directions and a lack of GPS technology caused him to arrive twenty minutes late. But Pfleiderer maintained a determined persona, used a promotional piece he learned at SU and owned the meeting. He was offered the job later that day.

“It goes to show you how much confidence can do for you,” he said.

Sophomore art major Jordan Kahl shared her opinion about the presentation.

“It was very informative, and it’s always cool to hear success stories from someone like [Pfleiderer]. He actually went to Salisbury,” she said.

Pfleiderer learned four major lessons after finishing his first two jobs. One is to save money, because a high salary is not always guaranteed. For example, he bought a new car shortly after being hired at the medical center, but was laid off only six months later.

“If you think for one second how quickly you have job security, it is pretty amazing how that can come to bite you,” he said.

The second lesson is that the grass is not greener on the other side, for everything is not always as it seems. In addition, update your profile regularly. Every time a project is finished, it is important to add that to one’s list of experience. Finally, use freelance work to bridge employment gaps. LinkedIn is a great tool for students to showcase their portfolio and form connections.

The lessons Pfleiderer learned after his time with a small business include the need to enjoy one’s job and the importance of having a boss that one can respect. He stated that there is a vital need to know the economics of design simply by understanding the various costs required as an artist in graphic design.

Also, working remotely or from home can make it hard to maintain creativity, for it is not as glamorous as many would imagine. He concluded with the message that hard work eventually pays off in the end.

Pfleiderer also mentioned an unlikely lesson for students to conceptualize.

“It is okay to say, ‘I don’t know.’”

This is important, he explained, in being honest to one’s creative ability as well as in recognizing the potential to improve.

The plethora of lessons which Pfleiderer communicated during his presentation culminated into a final message.

“Making something great takes time, and that includes making yourself great,” he said.

Pfleiderer says to never settle, and keep persisting.

The presentation was made possible by Brooke Rogers, associate professor of art at Salisbury University.

Students discuss Md. General Assembly Internships


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Interns from the Md. General Assembly Legislative Program sit left to right: Dani Walker, Ellie Brookbank, Collin Denny, Shekina Hollingsworth, David Gicheru, Alex Aiosa and Garrett Shull. Photo by Val Petsche.

Staff Writer



Those interning with delegates from the Md. General Assembly in Annapolis gathered in Conway Hall Tuesday evening to share their experience this past semester.

A wide range of issues affecting the state, and the Eastern shore specifically, were handled by the interns, including regulations surrounding oyster sanctuaries in the Chesapeake Bay, fracking, pre-k suspension and the legalization of recreational marijuana among others.

“I’m thankful I got this opportunity. I encourage you guys to look into it,” senior economics major David Gicheru says after describing the amicable relationship he shared with his delegate.

The type of work assigned to the interns included conducting research, attending committee hearings, tracking bills, working on mailings and handling constituent problems.

Junior Ellie Brookbank, a political science major, worked with her delegate on a bill to aid rape prosecution by extending the time that law enforcement agencies hold rape kits. The kits are taken after someone is sexually assaulted, and then used for DNA evidence. Often it is the case that victims cannot prosecute, as there is a big variation in local police stations surrounding how long they keep the rape kits.

“This bill makes it so that every law enforcement jurisdiction has to keep the rape kits for 20 years,” Brookbank explains. “We still have a long way to go with it.”

Brookbank also dealt with the bill to ban fracking in the state of Maryland.

“When it finally got passed, Governor Hogan was very excited about it because Maryland is only the third state in the country to ban fracking,” Brookbank states.

She also worked on a bill to install polling stations in college campuses. This was central to her mission as the president of college democrats on campus.

Senior Shekina Hollingsworth, another political science major, shared her thoughts on the pressures of working with her delegate. “When I got it done, and I knew that it was done right, then I thought i had done well. It showed me that she really trusted me,” Hollingsworth stated.

Dani Walker is a junior political science and English major with a minor in film. As an intern, she worked on a bill about oyster sanctuaries in the Chesapeake Bay and how the delegates were planning to change areas in them.

“There was a lot of outcry against it because it would take kind of the power away from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). They have this control to change the oyster sanctuaries if it is scientifically proven okay to do that.”

She explained that the Md. General Assembly ultimately voted on forcing DNR to wait two years before they could do anything, and not before providing research.

Garret Shull is a senior political science major with a conflict analysis and dispute resolution minor. He discussed a bill introduced by Senator Ronald Young to ban the torment of the cownose rays, a type of stingray, in the Chesapeake Bay.

“It was asking DNR to have certain regulations saying how they can be fished. Above all else, they wanted to stop the torments altogether. There’s still a lot of watermen concerned,” Shull reports.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding this issue, and it was what Shull described as a “hot button” topic.

“You have a lot of watermen that come in with arguments that they eat clams, they eat oysters, they eat the softshell crabs and things like that, that are important not only to their lifestyle and culture, but also for them to be able to make a living.”

Shull later explained, “so that was a big clash that goes back and forth and eventually they settled on a middle ground that was honestly a good compromise between the two parties. Ultimately they decided to put a moratorium on them.”

Shull commented on the variety of people he encountered while working with the delegates, stating that some people are a little bit more relaxed while others are a little bit more stern. He stated that despite the differences, they are all very reasonable people and they all appreciate your help because they are ultimately there to represent their citizens.

He describes one notable memory when the democrats and republicans were fighting over a bill on the floor.

“The minute the bill stopped it was like something left the room. They understand that there’s a bigger picture than just themselves. It really is an enjoyable thing and I think it’s really rewarding too.”

The Md. General Assembly’s Legislative Intern program is only offered to about 100 students representing colleges and universities across Maryland. This opportunity allows students to provide research and staff assistance to legislators during each session, giving both educational and practical work experience within the legislative branch of state government.

This is a spring semester internship, and interested students can contact Dr. Adam Hoffman in the department of political science at ahhoffman@salisbury.edu. Applications must be received by October 31 of the fall semester.


Sunset Yoga Series in May


Staff Writer

Sunset Yoga Series in May. Val Petsche. Photo.png

With finals quickly approaching, students have the chance to destress during an open session of hatha yoga provided every Monday for the next three weeks on the lawn outside of Holloway Hall by instructor Madhumi Mitra.


She is a professor of Biological and Environmental sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). Dr. Mitra has been practicing yoga and meditation for the past several decades.


“My yoga series will teach the participants ancient breathing techniques, poses for overall health that can be customized based on the needs of the participants and will also focus on pain management,” Dr. Mitra says. “This will enhance better understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of yoga that are often overlooked at the gyms and studios.”


The classes are an opportunity for students to learn the foundations of yoga, as each session covers the importance of chakra yoga, the five Tibetan rites and breathing techniques, before ending in meditation.


“Yoga is the coordination of mind, body, and spirit, and acknowledging the divinity that resides in each one of us,” Dr. Mitra explains.


She later discussed that this workout focuses on activating the wheels of energy, or chakras, to allow an uninterrupted flow of “chi” throughout the body, whether it be circulatory, skeletal, nervous or lymphatic.


Senior Mary Gellen, a communication arts and health major, attended the yoga session, explaining that it is a good introduction to energy work.


“In most yoga classes, they do not usually go through explaining the chakras. They just make you jump into the poses,” Gellen adds.


Senior Leeroy Jenkin, majoring in computer science, was also present for an evening of yoga. He commented on the session as well, stating, “It opens my sacral chakra.”


Charles Johnson, senior and elementary education major, says the class was not challenging, and students should attend to help relax during finals, especially because of the meditation aspect.


In regards to the encroaching deadlines and assignments, Gellen reasons that “the meditation and the breathing are some of the best things for stress relief.”


“Research has shown that the academic performances of students in K-12 schools have improved significantly with the adoption of a yoga-meditation approach,” Dr. Mitra said. “The classroom teachers have seen benefits with respect to students’ behavior, and mental and physical health.”


Dr. Mitra says she would like to see all K-12 schools, universities and colleges as well as government and non-governmental organizations start similar programs for promoting physical, mental and spiritual health.


“The world will certainly become a haven for peace, tolerance, harmony and equanimity,” she said.


No experience is needed to attend Dr. Mitra’s sessions, and it is important, she states, that attendees come with an open mind and the intention to learn.


“Yoga can do wonders if you put your heart and mind into it,” Dr. Mitra said.


It is possible to incorporate the mindfulness of yoga into everyday life. Dr. Mitra explained that the yoga mindset brings benefits of feeling content with oneself and others, being grateful and remaining positive.


“When we go deep in yoga and commit to transformation, we will also notice that mindfulness in our daily activities; breathing deeply and seeking balance and harmony become a way of life in an effortless manner,” Dr. Mitra added.


To Dr. Mitra, yoga is a personal journey about listening to one’s body, mind and spirit.


This Sunset Yoga Series will be held every Monday at 5 p.m. until the final session on May 15

Earth Day events in Salisbury


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Sophomore Jessica Wooster (L) and Junior Tinsley Foster (R) hold their contributions during SGA’s Recycle Madness in Red Square on Thursday. Photo by Val Petsche.

Staff Writer

Downtown Salisbury is planning a wide array of fun events for the upcoming Earth Day weekend. Students of the Salisbury community are invited to participate in the excitement, including this month’s 3rd Friday celebration, Be the Difference Day, and the SBY Bike PartY.

3rd Friday

Students can support members of the Environmental Students Association as they sell handmade bird houses and planter boxes during Salisbury’s monthly 3rd Friday celebration. The event will occur from 5-8 p.m. and is located downtown on Main street.

This free event features handcrafted items and art by local businesses, complete with live music filling the streets by blues musicians Chris and Grayson English. The April month celebrates spring with a Sustainable Salisbury theme to commemorate Earth Day.

Cake Art will be open to host “Create Your Own Cupcake Night,” with new spring cupcake flavors. Acorn Market will be providing sustainable herb plant giveaways with each dinner entree purchased.

The Salisbury Art Space located on the lower level of the Gallery Building will showcase the 2017 Annual Blooming Artists Youth Show, an entire exhibition of local child artists’ work, along with a solo exhibition by last year’s winner, Dominique.

The Look Pretty Play Dirty Mobile Petting Zoo will be present on N Division Street with baby animals for those in attendance to see. Local environmental groups will also be attending, including the Lower Shore Land Trust, the Maryland Bluebird Society and the Nassawango Creek Preserve.

Be the Difference Day

This event will also be on N Division Street, promoting its community-wide day of service on Saturday April 22nd. Students are encouraged to volunteer at an event of their choice, and those interested can learn about 24 different projects being hosted by as many as 17 local organizations.

Be the Difference Day aims to provide opportunities for people of all ability levels and interests to get involved. The goal is to raise the profile of community organizations, volunteerism and service.

More information can be found at 410-548-4757 or visit www.salisburysga.com.

Salisbury Bike PartY

Also on Saturday, April 22 is the SBY Bike PartY, where students can join the Salisbury community to participate in a 6-mile fun ride through town or feel free to watch from the sidelines with live music playing nearby.

The first annual SBY Bike partY will begin in Downtown Salisbury at Lot 1 starting at 11 a.m. All are welcome, as there will be activities for all ages and skill levels, and it is a free event. Prizes will be awarded by EVO for costumes and bike decorations. The bicyclists will ride as a group with a police escort to guide all participants through intersections.

Festival activities also include a 3/4 mile car-free loop on Downtown Salisbury streets for registered riders to enjoy at their own pace along with the Get Ramped pop-up skatepark by Eastern Shore IMBA.

There will be a photo booth, photographers and drone footage by Macey Holyak as well as a bicycle safety course for beginners hosted by Bike-SBY. Many bike related organizations and vendors will be present and students can participate in a bike swap to sell any unwanted bikes and parts.

EVO is hosting the after-party starting at 2 p.m with live bands for everyone to enjoy. Please visit the Salisbury Bike PartY website for further details.

Earth Week on Campus

The SU Student Government Association has been hosting a week’s worth of events to celebrate Earth Day. Most activities were held in Red Square, including a bike-powered blender station for DIY smoothies and s’mores could be cooked in a solar oven.

The SGA presented a screening of the documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret on Monday evening for interested viewers, describing the alarming implications the meat industry poses on both people and the environment.

Wednesday showcased a cooking contest with locally sourced ingredients during the second annual Iron Sea Gull cooking contest in The Commons. Later that evening, recyclable art creations were displayed at SU’s Plaza Gallery along with photos and descriptions of SU’s Earth Week events.

Students were encouraged to participate in Recycle Madness on Thursday. This is a recycling competition between various student organizations to see who can contribute the most weight in recyclables.

Kathryn Nuernberger speaks of intimate perspective with nature for “Writers on the Shore” series


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Poet Kathryn Nuernberger stands with Salisbury graduate Molly Likovich at the “Writer’s on the Shore” reading Wednesday. Photo by Val Petsche.

Staff Writer

Author Kathryn Nuernberger recited enchanting poems at the “Writers on the Shore” series this past Wednesday, describing nature with the acuity of a scientist and the breadth of a writer.

Nuernberger is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of Central Missouri as well as the director of Pleiades Press. She has lived on an exhausted dairy farm in southeastern Ohio with her husband and daughter in addition to her previous residences around the U.S., including Missouri, Louisiana, Montana and Washington.

Nuernberger presented literature from her two poetry collections, The End of Pink and Rag & Bone, both of which have received prestigious awards, including the Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press for the latter.

“A dozen dark backs undulating wavelessly through the mist. The Queen said poetically: These are the great diving beasts of a deeply held breath,” Nuernberger read from her poem about narwhals.

An appreciation for nature can be seen in her discussion of the organic realm, infusing scientific terminology into a harmonious arrangement of poetic lyricism.

Rag & Bone is Kathryn Nuernberger’s debut poetry collection, confessing a love affair with nature, paramecium-mottled screens and everyday oddities.

Her poem titled “U.S. EPA Reg. No. 524-474,” begins, “Gene-splicing the beetle-resistant Basillus. Thuringiensis with a potato sounds surgical, but it’s just a matter of firing a .22 shell dipped in DNA solution at the stem, straggling out from the russet eye.”

The audience was given the opportunity to ask questions following the poetry reading. One such question centered around Nuernberger’s fascination with fairytales bordering the dark and twisted.

She then recounted a favorite bedtime story which involves the devil vying for a farmer’s daughter, and an act of witchcraft that ends with the reader unsure of whether the devil is really gone. Nuernberger explained of the significance of this storytelling as opposed to the innocent versions with fairies and princesses.

“My critical apparatus justifying this messed-up mothering is that the tales that are scary are actually really satisfying because they don’t take it literally, so they don’t feel like they’re experiencing a deeply violent thing.”

Nuernberger further reasoned, “She finds it really cathartic. The world is scary to them, too. There’s death and there’s loss out there.”

With a final resolution, she explained, “Giving fairytales is a way of acknowledging the full complexity of their emerging humanity, and giving them the tools to learn how to harness all the feelings they have.”

Molly Likovich, a recent Salisbury graduate holding an English degree stated, “I fell in love with her almost prosaic way of looking at poetry. I feel like her work falls into stories and let’s the reader consume enough content for fifty poems with the succinctness of one. ”

Likovich discovered Kathryn’s work over a year ago through John Nieves, following a recommendation for Rag & Bone.

“I also just think, as a woman and as a poet, I deeply connect to a lot of the ways she sees the world—from animals, to metaphors, to ancient research, to creepy fairytales—and getting to meet her in person was everything I could’ve ever dreamed of,” Likovich added.

Preceding the Q&A, Nuernberger discussed her melancholy over the recent order to loosen hunting regulations on wolves in North America.

“It broke my coping mechanisms,” she stated. To Nuernberger, it became the symbol of everything else, and the wolves presented a single entity which she could use to contain her frustration on everything else going on.

“It seems like it’s rooted in this very old, ancient human impulse to be like, ‘I want to be the mega predator because it makes me feel less afraid,’” she later concluded.

Likovich is currently reading, The End of Pink, Nuernberger’s second book.

“As a rape survivor, her poems, that especially touch on how blame-the-victim culture works today, are especially astonishing to me,” Likovich explained. “She hits the nail on the head of what so many women are feeling.”

Likovich discussed one of the author’s most central works related to the topic.

“The way she uses the ancient myths of mermaids as a metaphor for the urban term of calling a girl a ‘tease’ is brilliant,” she said, referring to the short story titled “P.T. Barnum’s Fiji Mermaid Exhibition as I Was Not the Girl I think I Was.”

The reading was a demonstration of human creativity bridging the gap between science and literature. It was made possible through the “Writers on the Shore” series, an event showcasing established authors in Delmarva for over thirty years.

March on D.C. with ESA for environmental justice


Staff Writer


March with members of Salisbury University’s Environmental Student’s Association (ESA) to demand climate justice at the People’s Climate Movement in D.C. Saturday, April 29.

“This is extremely important because it allows us an opportunity to come together and express how we feel about the recent trend in national environmental legislation,” ESA president Terri Gladus, a sophomore environmental studies major, explained.

The People’s Climate Movement has led demonstrations across the nation since 2014, demanding solutions to the climate crisis as well as protection for the rights to clean air, water, land and ultimately, a world at peace.

Additionally, the movement aims to address the attacks on immigrants, colored communities, indigenous people and tribal nations.

“Students should be interested in this event because it allows our voices to be heard and provides a venue for agency where we can have a say in the direction of environmental protection in this country,” Gladus said.

This year, the march occurs on the 100th day of the Trump administration. People will be marching in the streets of D.C. surrounding the White House, Mall and Capital.

Junior Rebecca Lederman, a philosophy major, stated, This is extremely important for morale and spreading awareness to those who don’t take climate threats seriously.”

Gladus said students can participate by going to the march themselves, in which further information about the event can be found online at the People’s Climate Movement website. While the sign-up dates for carpooling have passed, anyone needing tips on organizing their own ride or wishing to caravan with the group may contact ESA.

“I am most looking forward to getting to experience this event with a large group of SU students and to be involved in such an amazing event,” Gladus later stated.

An event of this magnitude hopes to prompt political action by the federal government in the form of funding through investments in a sustainable future. This includes appropriating costs for transitioning to a renewable energy economy and divesting ourselves from our reliance on fossil fuels.

“I would participate, especially with the possibility that the EPA might lose a huge amount of its funding,” Lederman said. “People who don’t support the Environmental Protection Agency don’t seem to understand that the earth is a precious thing, and the activities of humans are destroying it.”

President Trump recently signed an executive order on March 28 to repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan, derailing any progress that would combat climate change. The pivotal Clean Power Plan may allow the U.S. to uphold their duty in the Paris Climate Agreement in efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

The current political narrative of climate change demands action and this movement is an opportunity to advocate for a sustainable future. Demonstrators may peacefully address recent decisions such as this executive order, or other injustices felt by the public.

For further details about the march, students can reach ESA president Terri Gladus at tgladus1@gulls.salisbury.edu.

French film explains how the adopted adapt


Staff Writer


Dr. Chrys Egan presented the animated French film, “Approved For Adoption,” in Fulton Hall Wednesday, March 1. Translating to “Coleur de Peu: Miel,” the story follows the life of Jung, a boy from Korea abandoned at the age of five and adopted by a French family in Belgium. The audience could understand the challenges of this life unknown to most, yet experienced by many.

In the story, Jung is introduced to four siblings in addition to his new set of parents. Conflicts arise both externally, as Jung’s appearance distinguishes himself from the rest of the family in a Belgian society, and internally, as Jung struggles to perceive love and acceptance from his adopted mother.

The film explores the complexity of the concept of family and its multifaceted dimensions, which make it extremely intricate.

“It seems really easy at the surface, but it isn’t at all,” Egan explained. She posed a question regarding what a family is composed of, and who is a part of it, perhaps unrelated by blood.

Egan further asked the viewers to consider how we define who we are and the idea of possessing multiple identities shaped through the entrance and exit of people in our lives.

A discussion followed the screening, led by a panel of three women with personal experiences adopting children. The panel included Melany Trenary, lecturer in Communication Arts, Vicki Smartnick, Salisbury resident, and Chrys Egan, Associate Professor of Communication Arts.

Smartnick adopted a two-and-a-half-year-old boy from China. She reflected on the movie’s relevance to her own insight. “There was a lot in the film I could relate to with my own son,” Smartnick said, then discussed her son’s past behavioral problems of lying about chores and school work.

“I think it’s almost as if he’s saying, are you loving me enough to pay attention to what I’m doing?” Smartnick said, explaining that his actions were thought of as a test.

Trenary is the guardian of a girl from Guatemala, and she was asked to answer the question of whether the concept of family changed when she saw her child for the first time, a child, moreover, that did not resemble her own appearance.

“I guess I never equated the concept with looks. It never really occurred to me,” Trenary said.

Smartnick concurred. “It never really occurred to me either. I was handed a two-and-a-half-year-old, but it was the same deal as when I was handed an infant.”

When Smartnick began the adoption process in 2007, her original intent was to request a girl from China, for she assumed that was the demand in need. But she learned, however, that the real need was for boys with medical conditions.

“There are actually more boys waiting for adoption in China than girls,” Smartnick said.

This statement was surprising, considering the common myth that girls are more likely to be given up for adoption.

Nastia Jones, a sophomore majoring in Secondary Education, was adopted from Russia at the age of nine.

Jones is commonly asked the question, “Would you be happier if you were adopted younger?”

“The nine years I lived in Russia made me who I am today. I am more grateful for my education, I am more grateful for where I live and I am more grateful for my parents,” she reasoned.

Throughout the film, Jung learns to feel comfortable with his place in the family as he bonds with his siblings among other things. Though he was always welcomed by his family, Jung struggled to achieve his sense of belonging emotionally.

Jones explained the cause of this challenge.

“The first two years are the critical years to establish an attachment to your parent, and he has had five years before his adoption,” Jones said. “He’s already built a life—it’s not like he was adopted at birth.”

Dr. Derya Kulavuz-Onal, Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at Salisbury, was present to ask the panel, “We’ve seen in the movie [that] this kid is really struggling to find his identity, and not knowing where his place is. Have you had any identity crises with your adopted kid?”

“I think it’s hard for her because she’s got to balance two worlds. She goes home to Guatemala and it is so different. To fit in here as a teenager, can you just imagine?” Trenary responded on behalf of her daughter.

Smartnick recounted a similar experience relevant to establishing identity. “One day my then seven-year-old said, ‘You know, he’s starting to look like us. He doesn’t really look Chinese anymore.’” she stated.

“We don’t really think of him as Chinese, we just think of him as one of us,” Smartnick added.

Among members of the audience was Dr. Claire Kew, Associate Professor of French at Salisbury. She directed a question to Egan, who adopted a child locally. She asked Egan if she waited to disclose the adoption to her child as a follow-up to Smartnick, who explained of her intent to disclose his adoption as early as possible.

“I’m behind the mindset that adoption had to be something that was secret, it was shameful, and we don’t keep things secret unless we’re ashamed that we should be talking about it,” Egan replied. “Adoption is not like that, and I think we’ve done a good job about changing the cultural thinking.”

This screening provided both an informative as well as emotional account on the topic of adoption. There is a prevalent need for adoptive parents today, with over 100,000 children waiting to be adopted, according to Good Housekeeping. Meanwhile, according to SOS Children’s Villages, an estimated 140 million orphaned children remain worldwide.

The Standing Rock protests Meant something


Photo By: Val Petsche

By Val Petsche


Staff Writer

A presentation titled “Pipelines and Protest” was given Wednesday by environmental studies professor Dr. Janet Fiskio of Oberlin College. Throughout the talk, Fiskio discussed the far-reaching implications of the #noDAPL protest as well as lessons to be learned from movements of such magnitude.

“Athough the pipeline is going to be built, that protest meant something,” Fiskio said.

While the Dakota Access Pipeline is scheduled for further construction, it is important to examine the thriving community that was established at the Sacred Stone camp along Lake Oahe. As many as 10,000 protestors visited the encampment, where food and water accommodations were provided along with a 24-hour security post, medical tent and both solar and wind power resources.

Fiskio labeled temporary camps such as this one “ephemeral utopias,” where camp strangers come together, help each other, and build an interdependent community. It is these phenomena which help model an ideal society. Everyone engages in participatory roles that contribute to a common goal.

“We’re stuck in these unjust situations; but when disaster strikes, that changes, and it opens doors,” Fiskio explained. She further reasoned that people want to make a difference and alleviate the current situation during these times.

Memorable protests throughout history were named, including the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong for universal suffrage and Arab Spring in Tunisia to protest a political regime. The Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 was a six-week encampment organized by Martin Luther King Jr. to improve the poverty, unemployment and housing situation affecting many Americans.

This protest camp in Washington had a medical clinic as well as access to education, shelter and food for all participants. Here was another example of the people creating an ideal society of their own.

“Part of what allows these kinds of temporary ‘ephemeral utopias’ is the free spaces that allow people to easily express themselves. People were saying ‘this is what it should look like, this is how it should be,’” Fiskio said.

Addressing another issue, Fiskio explained that the protests are not anti-institutional, for people could not create the results needed if that were so. Occupy Wall Street, for example, was not about tearing the bureaucratic institutions down, Fiskio said, but rather a movement that exemplified a caring, just society speaking for what they believed in.

The Tar Sands Healing Walk in 2010 was discussed. This was a peaceful demonstration to acknowledge the people, air quality and wildlife affected by the Athabasca Oil Corporation in Alberta, Canada.

“The act of walking became a prayer for the land,” Fiskio said.

The significance of this event can be traced in the simple, everyday act of walking. This march communicated decades of exploitation and suffering received by the local First Nations people, where water contamination, food security and disease were key issues.

“In these ‘ephemeral utopias,’ space is created together based on vulnerability. We don’t need to deny our feelings of love and grief. We let those be our resources for finding a way together to allow ourselves to be transformed,” Fiskio said.

She further explained that we have the capacity to create “ephemeral utopias.” It can happen in a garden, in classrooms, or in the work space.

During a discussion following the presentation, Michael Omps posed a question regarding issues today. “There comes a point when it needs to be successful, and there needs to be actual success. What do you think is the key factor to make the Black Lives Matter Movement a full-fledged movement as opposed to what Standing Rock is with the Dakota Access Pipeline?” Omps said.

Fiskio reasoned, it is not that we need to think in that mindset. There are different strategies for being effective in different ways.

“The Civil Rights Movement is a great example of multiple strategies. They were going through the Supreme Court. They were going through the state system. They were using boycotts. They were using action when they had to,” Fiskio said.

Among the audience was Dr. Fulbert Namwamba, a professor of environmental studies at Southern University in Louisiana. He explained, “We are living a tiny moment in history. We are watching things happening. I tell my students, ‘you cannot sit on the fence. There is no fantasy. You are either with us or against us.’”

Namwamba further stated that there are three things necessary to create change. The first one is the use of knowledge, for that will always be present. The second is being able to use science, and third is the need to organize. Among the stifling of the EPA and loose regulations for fossil fuel industries, knowledge will always be there to provide substantive evidence.

Fiskio provided advice to those students and individuals in regards to that statement: “I am always walking into situations [where] I don’t know what I’m doing. Don’t let that stop you from getting engaged,” she said.

Several members of the audience remained to speak to Fiskio following her insightful presentation.

“Fiskio presented her ideas about protests in a completely new light. It enabled me to think beyond the typical context of activism,” Alyssa Massey said. Massey is an environmental and political science major at Salisbury University.

This presentation offered great information about the history of protests, the implications of those movements and the knowledge to be gained in the current climate of political activism.

Pablo’s Bowls Brings Açai to Salisbury

By Val Petsche


Photo captured by Val Petsche.

Staff Writer

Pablo’s Bowls is the newest attraction at Sea Gull Square, offering delicious handmade açai bowls, smoothies and fresh juices.

Students can grab a seat among wooden tables inside this tropical bungalow-themed cafe. Upon entering, you are greeted by friendly workers while blenders can be heard buzzing nearby. Above lies an array of low hanging coil lights, and a towering chalk board displays the menu along a white brick wall.

Junior Megan Fulton, a frequent customer, says, “I love the atmosphere with the music and outgoing staff. They even remember my order!”

I ordered the dragonfruit bowl, which included pitaya and mango blended together and topped with granola, pineapple, strawberries, banana, blueberries, coconut and local honey. This bowl was just as beautiful as it was delicious, with a vibrant fuchsia pink color. The granola is the real deal.

The açai berry contains antioxidants, which help strengthen the immune system and prevent cancer, according to Everyday Health, Inc.

Student Somer Schaeffer reveals that her favorite item from Pablo’s is the trestles bowl—açai blended with chocolate almond milk and Pb lite over a layer of granola, then topped with fresh bananas, strawberries and local honey.

According to their Facebook page, each bowl contains one pound of fresh fruit and granola. The bowls are typically $11.95-$12.95.

Tyler Niblett, an employee at Pablo’s, explains that they “have specials on the bowls and smoothies that change every week.”

Their açai is fair trade, wild harvested from the Amazon rainforest, and yes, it is vegan.

Niblett wears a shirt that reads, “Ah-sigh-ee” to explain the word’s sometimes confused pronunciation, adding, “I love it here—the customers are great, and it’s not just students that come in. I see older adults after a workout and high schoolers too.”

The price may be expensive but this is definitely something worth saving for. As Miki Katna says, “it is exquisite, and sometimes you have to treat yo self.”

Pablo’s Bowls was started by Berlin Organics, the same company that founded the Juice Shack in Ocean City. It is great to know that we have more wholesome options in Salisbury, which says a lot about the values of our community members.

“I love having this on campus because it’s convenient and healthy. Everything is organic,” Fulton says.

The cafe provides several other products including kombucha, tea, coconut water and healthy snacks. Customers can also purchase the granola that is used to make the açai bowls, which is organic and non-GMO.

Pablo’s Bowls is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day, ever since welcoming customers for the first time in December. They are located in Sea Gull Square next to Starbucks, and you can check them out on Facebook or Instagram for more information.

“The Girl on the Train” movie measures up to novel

By Val Petsche

Staff Writer

“The Girl on the Train” is a riveting murder mystery new to theaters and based on the novel by Paula Hawkins. Throughout the story, themes of lust and adultery largely command the stage, and it is the film’s skillful adaptation that allows for the audience to understand the dangers of reckless seduction.

The story is told through the narrations of three women—Rachel, Anna and Megan—though it largely centers on Rachel, a raging alcoholic. Rachel is the girl on the train, an outsider leading a dark and depressing life as monotonous as the train she rides back and forth every day.

She is imaginative, but in a dangerous way. Soon she thinks about the lives of those she passes, specifically a distraught young woman named Megan and Anna, the wife of her ex-husband.

The entirety of the plot surrounds one fateful night that Rachel, though highly intoxicated, literally falls witness to. Over time Rachel is able to recall the gruesome extent of the events that occurred, and she no longer becomes just a girl on the train.

Rachel’s narration occurs on every odd numbered chapter until 34, in which she remembers one major detail about that night and determines the suspect. At this point, we discover she is not the odd one out but rather a key player in the investigation to uncover the truth.

Hawkins’ thoughtful style of writing subjects the reader to accompany Rachel through her distraught, seemingly endless life of alcoholism. From the surface, she is a hot mess, and one the reader tends to feel pity for. Sometimes she is hard to feel bad for with her drinking problem, though. As the plot unfolds, Rachel finds her strength, and we see her emerge as a persistent character determined to prove people wrong and overcome the one person that sent her down that dark hole of depression to begin with.

The movie contains great cinematography; however, it would be greatly confusing if the book is not read beforehand. Many details go in to make this intricate story come together and thus it is important to pay close attention.

The narrative contains multiple threads with complex subject matter and an even more confusing plot. For example, the reader must follow the lives of each character, although their narrations occur at varying times and locations. Megan’s narration occurs at least a year before Rachel’s, and this becomes confusing as each chapter switches back and forth between characters.

With careful contemplation, the reader is able to piece together the various details alongside Rachel, clinging to her every thought as she experiences flashbacks.

Overall, I prefer the book over the movie. However, the film was a visually appealing piece that I enjoyed watching. Emily Blundt skillfully portrays Rachel, making her the disheveled woman I always envisioned her to be and more.

I recommend reading the book first and then following Rachel through this dramatic story that perhaps only a psychoanalyst could understand.