Alex Watters, Morningside College alumni, uses his life experiences to change Morningside and the Sioux City community today. At Morningside, he is a Career Development Specialist on campus. He is currently a City Council member in Sioux City after being appointed in 2017.

            At the beginning of Watters’ freshman year at Morningside he went to a lake and was severely injured. He broke his neck and has been in a wheelchair ever since. He now has some mobility in his upper body and tells his story.

            After graduate school in Omaha, Watters was moved to Washington D.C. for what he described as an “internship on steroids.” He was selected to work with the US Department of Education where he worked with the secretary of Education.

 He even worked with First Lady Michelle Obama on the “Let’s Read Let’s Move” movement. The “Let’s Move” part is when famous people will do fun physical activities and workouts with students. This movement is for a healthier America and to fight childhood obesity.

            Watters brought his experiences from Washington D.C. and life back to Morningside. He connects with students through his experiences and people reach out to him to work together. On campus, he works in the Krone Advising Center to help students find career paths and activities they are interested in. When asked what is the most fulfilling part of his job Watters said, “Seeing students succeed or have the realization of what they want to do with their life.” Students will come back and tell him about how they landed a job they wanted.

            Watters helps countless students on campus and has connections in the city to do his job well. While being on the city council he pushes to make changes for everyone and is open to new ideas. He said, “As long as I’m making a difference in people’s lives that’s what I am going to do.” He is doing that now in any way he can.

Reflection over Story #1

September 29, 2019

For paper #1, I think I put the most work into choosing the articles that I would use for my story. I read a lot of articles and had to pick three to use and choose the quotes I wanted. I wish I had spent more time considering what would be considered the important information to the readers. I think the information may be all mixed up.

The most difficult part was choosing information I wanted to emphasize and paragraph topics. The difficult part of this was the first sentence of the paragraph and introducing what I would be talking about.

My biggest problem was making things concise and awkward sentences. I would add “starts out saying” instead of using “says” talking about a quote. I tried to use short phrases to describe things after writing the draft and change it for the final.

By 2050, sixty countries want to reduce their net carbon emissions to zero. The United Nations announced this this week, but these countries only accounted for 11% of the world’s emissions. It is not clear how they will cut back to zero, but technological advances to capture carbon may help. The cutting back of these sixty countries is a small amount compared to the top three emitters: China, the United States, and India. To get on the list of sixty, the countries could have either “plans to achieve net zero CO2 emissions” or say it is “a long-term national goal.”

            Somini Sengupta and Nadja Popovich put together an article about this new announcement. They discuss how the cutting back of emissions from these countries will be a small impact. The way it will happen is unclear, but countries may pay for projects like tree-planting programs. They discuss countries specific laws and when they plan on making the most impact. There are some different comparisons they make between countries and cities in them and how much each emits.

Orange Slice

September 24, 2019

I took a bite out of a candy orange slice about five minutes ago and it is still stuck in my teeth. When I bit into it for the first time I could feel the gritty sugar that is on the outside. It reminded me of a sugar cookie, but the sugar pieces were larger and more dense around this candy. The orange gummy candy on the inside is very soft and sticky and is sticking to my teeth after the sugar has dissolved. It is sweet and tangy like an orange. It is even orange and color and in the shape of an orange slice with ridges. The textures go well together as the sugar is crunchy then soft from the candy.

Mside Scavenger Hunt

September 19, 2019

I was in my journalism class and we were all sent on a hunt for different items from people we did not know on campus. I was sent to find a creatively bent paper clip and a favorite Morningside memory.

            I went to the Krone advising center to find the paper clip. I met Shari Benson, at the from desk. I told her I was looking for a creatively bent paperclip. She laughed and said, “certainly,” and grabbed one, bending it in a spiral fashion. She even used a pen, as she asked me and a couple other classmates what else we were looking for out of curiousity.

            My second objective was to ask someone their favorite Morningside memory. I went to the Ag department and found Kim Hawkins, the administrative assistant, at the front desk. I told her what I was doing and asked her favorite Morningside memory. She said, “You should give me a couple days to think about.” She decided after a couple of minutes that her memory was the first day she started. There were 5 or 6 interviewers, not one like expected, and she was overwhelmed. But, early on she learned that everyone was nice and made her feel comfortable at Morningside for the last twenty years.

            Both Shari and Kim were surprised at what I was asking, but seemed to enjoy the company. They had just as many questions for me as I did them. This activity was fun and I have met two more people here in campus.

David Yaffe-Bellany wrote an article today about how Juul and other e-cigarette device advertisements are being taken off television. CNN, CBS, and Viacom are stopping all ads by e-cigarette companies because of rising health concerns related to vaping. As CNN includes TNT and TBS, Viacom includes ads on MTV, Nickelodeon and BET networks they will all get rid of such ads. E-cigarettes are becoming widely understood as addictive and harmful, with rising numbers in illnesses related to vaping.

            Bellany leads by explaining what networks were getting rid of the ads and that they did this because of health warnings. The warnings came from the American Lung Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bellany says that there have been nearly 400 cases of vaping-related sicknesses throughout the US and seven deaths. He put the information related to vaping itself at the end and what he wanted to address(companies removing ads) at the beginning.

A New York Times article from Andrew Jacobs says, “There was a collective gasp among Coke Zero and Diet Pepsi drinkers this week.” This addresses how consumers are looking into the research relating diet drinks to early death.

A new study from the World Health Organization shows a link between diet soda drinkers and premature death. The study says those who drink diet sodas are twenty-six percent more likely to die prematurely than those who do not drink sugar-free drinks as often.

            The study examined over 450,000 people throughout Europe over sixteen years who drank both sugary drinks and sugar-free drinks. Even though those who drank two or more glasses of sugary drink were eight percent more likely to die prematurely, those diet soda drinkers were still twenty-six percent more likely to die early.  

Jacobs, from NY Times, later discusses how there were some questions as to whether those who drank diet sodas lead an unhealthy lifestyle with their eating. Maybe some consumers decided that if they have the “healthy” diet soda they will accompany it with some other unhealthy foods. There is the possibility that those who are already overweight or obese are drinking diet sodas, but it does not fix the weight problem that may be involved.

            There have been discrepancies about sugary foods around since the 1970s and this is why there are diet sodas. Alternatives to sugars have been developed since then and are deemed safe to eat. Healthy lifestyles may be accompanied with such sugars, but are not evident to be of harm to consumers.

            According to the Washington Post’s Laura Reiley, the American Heart Association says that sweetened drinks are the biggest source of added sugar in American diets. She tells about a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the percentage of obese children and adolescents has more than tripled since the 1970s. The different studies analyze each other to try and put things together to find the connection between all these things.

            Some studies examined the fact that some participants were smokers or were consuming other unhealthy foods along with sodas. Some participants were already at risk as they may have been overweight or had cancer, heart disease or diabetes.

            Laura Donnelly, in The Telegraph, explains that more people were drinking artificially-sweetened drinks were higher than those consuming drinks with sugar. This shows that people are going for the more “healthy” version of soda and it may not be helping consumers. Talking about the WHO research she says, “Their experts today said consumers were better off sticking with water.” This may seem obvious to some with this research found, but there will still be a number of people consuming soda daily. The link between diet sodas and premature death is there with these studies and raises concerns around the world.

Newly Discovered Eels

September 11, 2019

Three new species of eel were discovered when a study of the one type was being examined and scientists found that has over double the voltage power. In an article, Emma Goldberg writes about how Dr. Carlos David de Santana of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.  discovered the “Electrophorus voltai.” It can generate an electric volt up to 860. The eel can grow to eight feet long and forty-four pounds and their high voltage was found when de Santana and colleagues caught 107 electric eel specimens. They found the three different species in the electric eel after this capture.

Goldberg wrote this article through the New York Times and packs a lot of information about eels into one. She starts by explaining what is known about eels from the past. She then explains how de Santana finds out the “Electrophorus voltai” has voltage power up to 860 volts. The information about de Santana and colleagues was concise and told how they did what they did and how they discovered the three distinct species in one. She ends it by saying there will be more research to find out if the eels can be used for new technology.

Dave Philipps wrote an article about the weight that the Navy and other United States military branches are gaining and what they are doing about it. A Defense Department study found that twenty-two percent of the US Navy troops qualify as obese. The Navy obesity rate has risen sixfold in less than a decade while only doubling in the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. With the military having control over what the troops eat, they are changing what they serve and opening gyms longer to help bring the obesity rates down.

            Philipps uses a lot of statistics to discuss the obesity in these military branches. He posted the article after a new study came out with updated rates in each branch. He talks about how leaders feel, how obesity is measured and how they are changing things to help. The data is explained and tells when it is from. He brings up the past from World War II when military recruits were often malnourished and underqualified for service leading to a school lunch program in the country. The article makes comparisons and tells the solutions the military is implementing.