Tragedy in The United States


Since 2013 the United States has seen a lot of tragedy among our own soil.  Although we are fourntate enough not to have a war being fought on our homeland, like many countries across the world, we have suffered because of people’s choices.  Since January first we have had multiple small killings/ wounding of innocent citizens and two mass devastations in our country.  The two biggest include:

  • Boston Marathon Bombing
  • Newtown Connecticut Shooting


However, what is so sad about these horrible instances is not only the killing and wounding of innocent people but also that these actions have been put on by people living in our country, most even citizens! Although people are killed everyday all over this world many times mass devastation takes place because of actions or retaliation to another county.  However, in the above examples these tragedies took place because of someone’s senseless actions.  According to an article found on this website: in 2012 there were 10 school shootings that left 41 people dead and 13 injured.  That number is ridiculous because these shootings do not have to take place.  However, what is most shocking about all of this is that according to the article on these unfortunate events have occurred more in 2013 than ever.  So why do these acts of terror take place?  Many people have different theories, however some of the most popular conspiracies include:


  • Gun laws: Some believe it is too easy to obtain a gun in the US and therefore think many shooting happen because it is not hard to purchase a gun.  
  • Mental health: Some people believe that these devastations happen because people have mental health issues that are not properly treated.  In other words, they have a problem that needs medication and since it’s not properly treated their minds convince them it is okay to proceed with acts of terror.
  • Worldwide Attention: Others believe that criminals are seeking attention from journalists and people all across the globe.  Almost always when these tragedies take place the picture of the criminal is plastered all over newspapers, TV and social media.  This attention makes them thrive and encourages them in the process no matter the final outcome of their punishment. 


Some articles on these topics include:

Regardless of the reasons why these terrible acts of terror take place, they need to be stopped.  In an article written by the Washington Post Brad Plumer writes about why mass shootings take place.  In order to stop these devastations we must first conclude why they are happening.  To read more on this article and help stop devastation in our own country check out these websites to see what we as citizens can do:


MU Moves To SEC

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With the 2012-2013 academic school year coming to a close I think it is important to highlight one of The University of Missouri-Columbia’s biggest changes this past year, joining the South Eastern Conference.  Since 1907 Mizzou has been apart of the Big Twelve Conference, which contributed to the University’s success in many sports titles, and academic honors as well as building many memories and traditions.  Some examples of these are:

  • Making it the elite eight in 2009
  • Sports games against MU’s biggest rival KU since 1891
  • MU baseball winning Big 12 Conference title

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However, joining the SEC has also brought many new customs to Mizzou.  Over the past year we stepped into a new realm of schools, regulations, and traditions and learned to handle the southern way.  In an article written by ESPN Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox said, “Mizzou adds more territory to our footprint, brings high quality academics and a good athletic program to our league.  As a former assistant in the Big Eight, and as a guy who grew up in that region, I think I understand pretty well that we’ve added a good one”.  Fox’s statement was right on, MU does have a lot to offer and that’s why our first year in the SEC was a good start.  Although we did not have much success in either our boys football or basketball season, we came into the games with a lot of pride.  Our fans were excited to start new traditions and supported our players no matter the outcome of the final score.  Some interesting articles about us joining SEC include:

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From the above articles it is easily seen there are mixed emotions regarding MU joining the SEC.  It is also clear that MU has a lot of work to do in regards to our athletic teams.  However, all in all there have been many pro’s to MU’s first year in the SEC and I think only time will tell how well we really “fit in”.
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Boston Bombing- Extra Credit


Reflecting on the news coverage regarding the Boston bombing makes my heart grieve. I cannot believe the actions that two men took to harm so many people’s lives. However, from a journalist perspective I applaud all those who reported about this horrific event. Although there were a few hiccups with facts regarding how many people were killed/injured as well as details regarding the suspects all the facts were made clear in the end.


 When the event first took place I found out from CNN and the Associated Press via twitter. Although tweets are not the most informative form of news coverage, I gained a lot of respect for these newscasts for getting the main details out quick. Also almost all of these tweets were linked to an article where I was able to read about more of the situation. All in all the majority of the information I gathered was via news coverage on twitter, websites and television.  As a college student I find myself struggling to stay up to date on things happening in the news via blog’s or news websites, so almost always TV and twitter are the best options. 


After staying tuned into the news regarding the Boston bombing via twitter, in the near future I see myself using twitter more for news.  It is very easy to follow all different news organizations and bloggers and I felt as though I was continually up to date on all the new happenings.  I also enjoyed twitter because this was a resource I could use as I was walking to class or chatting with a friend because it is an app that can be put on my phone.  I believe if there were other apps similar to twitter people would also use them as places to view news. 




As we recently discussed in Journalism 2150 lecture plagiarism has become a big problem among students.  Whether you’re in middle school, high school or even college not many students enjoy doing their homework.  However, students of all ages have found an easy solution for this problem.  This solution is known as plagiarism.  Due to the worlds advancement in online technology it is easy for people to find substitutes for their homework via the web.  Some examples of this are:

            -Math book solutions

            -Online papers

            -Science lab solutions

            -Foreign language translators

            -Online photos

However, what many people do not realize is the detrimental effects of choosing to use theses resources.  Many websites that carry this online information have some sort of Hoax, which can cause viruses on your computer.  Also many of these websites have incorrect information and facts that will cause you to receive bad grades on your assignment.  Lastly, copying word for word from these websites is plagiarism, which can lead to students getting suspicion or even expelled from their schools.  Some graphics from, name the main reasons why plagiarism happen.  Here are the graphics found on



The graphics from do a good job of showing all the different angles of plagiarism.  As seen above it is easy to not do your own work and instead copy someone else’s.  Although you might not think it is a big deal to take someone else’s work and ideas, it is not fair to that individual to “steal” their handwork. Taking someone else’s work is no different than taking a t-shirt from a department store without paying, it’s stealing.  Plagiarizing should not only bite your integrity, but also make you realize how proud you should be of your own work.  No matter if your writing a paper, taking pictures or solving a short answer you should take pride in the work you create.


When it comes down to it, do the right thing and don’t plagiarize.  Although it might not seem like a big issue to get suspicion for a couple days or get a zero on your assignment, you will not always get off this easy.  In college the consequences can be much more serious and adults in a professions can be fined for plagiarizing and potentially even lose their jobs.  Also there are websites all over the web that can check for all types of plagiarism, so don’t think that you can just get away with it.  Many schools are now requiring students to submit their assignments through these websites, which shows what percent of your work was plagiarized.  Lastly, this can easily become a habit.  Once you get away with plagiarizing once you are more app to continue do it, which can cause further consequences. 


Some examples of websites that check for plagiarism include:

There are many articles all over the web that talk about plagiarism and the effects it has on both the author of the work and the person stealing it.  Some examples of good articles include:

Greek Week 2013

Mizzou Greek Town Serves Columbia, MO

MU’s Greek town was founded in 1899 and today 28 fraternities, 15 sororities and almost 27,000 undergraduate students make up the Greek community. Each year sororities and fraternities come together and participate in numerous philanthropic events. This month the Greeks put on their annual Greek week which kicked off April 8, 2013. Sororities and fraternities were paired together and throughout the week they participated in sports tournaments, the Red Cross blood drive and service projects that fundraised for local Columbia, MO beneficiaries. MU student and Greek member, Dani Wilkerson, said she enjoyed Greek Week because she “was able to meet lots of other Greeks while also serving the Columbia community.” According to Wilkerson Greek Week is a fun and memorable experience that all Greeks look forward to every year.


2013 Greek Week T-shirt, Columbia, MO, April, 16 2013.


Can’s collected by members of Kappa Alpha Theta, April, 16 2013, Columbia, MO.


Dani Wilkerson talks about MU Greek Week and Greek Life on April 16, 2013 in Columbia, MO in the heavy rainfall.


MU Greek Town in the pouring rain in Columbia, MO on April 16, 2013.

Changing the World


I believe change happens one step at a time.  All throughout my life I have tried my best to give back to those less fortunate than myself may that be volunteering, severing, or campaigning for an organization.  Every since I was little I have had a easy life, always given more than I needed and raised by parents who would do anything for me.  However taking notices to how blessed I was, made me realize how much I could give to those who have less.  Therefore I spent a lot of my time volunteering at homeless shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, serving on mission trips and campaigning to raise money for organizations such as Invisible Children and water projects for Kenya.  While with each of these projects I was only able to make a small dent into the lives I served I feel the impact was huge; as the world’s problems only get solved with baby steps. Not one person can change the whole world, but I believe people working for the good of others in small things makes a huge difference. Each time I volunteered at one of these places the people were brightened by my positive spirit and thankful for my help with any tasks. These jobs included organizing health kits in the hospital, playing bingo with the old folks, sorting food cans in a homeless shelter, and raising money for organizations at a carwashes and fundraisers.  To some these tasks seem tiny but to people in need these tasks mean a lot.

Some places that need volunteers in Columbia, MO include:

In 2007 I went on trip with World Changers to Puerto Rico and myself and a group of 15 other people built a whole house in one week for a family who had lost there home.  This instance had to be one of the most impactful experiences I was able participate in as I watched life come back to this family and their community.  Each family member was so thankful for the work we had done; and shared with us how they wanted to help others in their community by opening this home to the homeless.


Trips like mine to Puerto Rico take place all throughout the year in Columbia, MO and cities all across the USA.  Some programs include:

While my missions trip and volunteering did not change the globe, I know from my direct contact with the people I served it made a difference.  To me each of these scenarios is a “pay it forward” deal. When I made health baskets at the hospital or sorted food at the food bank others watched and either were given the urge to help out too or will tell others about my service, which encourages them to serve. While in the nursing home the people I served might not be able to help in the future, these folks have possibly already served or the employees at the nursing home see the impact we are making and feel compelled to do the same.   When one decides to help those around them it encourages others to help as well as the person you served to help.  This “serving” can become an on going cycle and with one person serving at a time it can impact many.  Therefore I hope to have affected those people who I served so now they will serve in their own ways.  I have seen the affect of others “paying it forward” and I hope that my affection to those in need only further benefited the cause of service to the world.  The world’s problems can only be solved with others help and one step at a time we can make a huge impact.

Throughout the Internet there is numerous articles talking about changing the world, volunteering and mission trips.  Some of the ones I found most impactful include:




The Social Media Realm

Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Instagram or something else, social media seems to be at the height of its success.  No matter where you are around the world everyone is familiar with these websites and most people are also very involved in them.

Here are some statistics about the worlds involvement:

  1. Facebook:  1.06 billion monthly active users and 680 million mobile users
  2. Twitter: 500 million total users and more than 200 million active users
  3. MySpace: 25 million users
  4. Instagram: 100 million users


The four social media sites I listed above are only a handful of hundreds, check out the link above to see others.  However, what is so fascinating about these networks is that they are growing and improving so quickly.  I can remember several years ago when I first heard about Facebook and it was more of a college thing.  Students would get online and make a profile to talk to other students that attended their university.  However, it is easily seen that Facebook has expanded their audience to people of all ages and they are not stopping there.  Facebook and all other similar social media websites are creating new innovative links, applications and groups that are attractive to people of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and hobbies.  Their goal is to have the most engaging network to draw in interest from people across the globe. Today, many sites are  focusing their time to a specific consumer resource (ie: pictures, videos, statuses) in order to have the most advanced technology for consumers.

Some good examples of this are:

  1. Linked-In: Business Professional Network
  2. Facebook: Personal Profile
  3. Fouresquare: “Check-in” for various consumer locations
  4. Instagram: Photos
  5. Twitter: Statuses


A more recent social media site is Vine.  Vine is focused on allowing users to make short videos of things they are doing.  The actual Vine description says: “The best way to see and share life in motion” (


Here a couple Vine examples:

However, these social media websites are much more than just a tool they have become a way of life.  Each of the users on these networks meet people, engage in conversations and rely on these sites as a way to find out information.  According to a pole taken in 2012 by Statistic Brain 56 percent of the world uses some kind of social network each day.  This pole also showed the top ten most social media engaged countries:


  1. Isreal
  2. Argentina
  3. Russia
  4. Turkey
  5. Chile
  6. The Phillppines
  7. Colombia
  8. Peru
  9. Veezuela
  10. Canada
  11. United States


Each social media site also has numerous other links and pages to other users, different websites and advertisement.  These links are why many of sites have been growing at such a fast rate.  Word spreads quickly espically when it is traveling over the internet full of billions of users.  Here are some interesting facts about websites links:

  1. Instagram: 4 billion photos
  2. Facebook has more than 50 million pages and 10 million apps
  3. Foursquare: 1 million business
  4. Flickr: 8 billion photos


However, social media sites that expose all of these “links” can also be a disadvantage to users applying for jobs.  As we talked about in J2150 lecture a couple weeks back, many employers are now looking to these sites to find information about potential employees.  Companies are looking at things such as your pictures, statuses, and things posted on your wall.  Therefore it is important that people on these social media websites are careful of the things they are posting because you never know where that link could end up.

There are many interesting articles regarding social media and up and coming websites.  To read more about the social media realm, the benefits and also the cons check out these links:



The Info graphic below came from the following website: