Leadership Training for Christ

This past weekend I was in Dallas for the annual LTC. At this event young kids are given the opportunity to serve Christ by song leading, bible reading, giving speeches and much more. To see these young kids show their love for Christ is so awesome to witness. In a world full of evil it’s refreshing to see that there is still some good out there and even in the younger generation.

There were so many awesome things at LTC, on top of what I already mentioned there were also choruses, dramas and puppet shows. There are also two events called Bible bowl and Bible quiz where the kids answer questions about the Bible. In the bible quiz the kids works together on the quiz, and it’s not easy. I read an example of the test where it would ask the book and chapter of a particular event or scripture. That just shows the amount of time these kids must put in to prepare. In Bible bowl the kids are still on a team but they can’t consult with one another on their answers. These questions are easier but the kids must still study to prepare for it.

LTC is a special event that brings together a bunch of kids who are so different yet have one main thing in common. A love for Jesus Christ.

NFL Draft

Being a huge football isn’t fun this time of year. You anxiously wait for the draft to see who your team picks up. Even though I am a huge sports fan in general, and baseball season just started, and the NBA playoffs are about to start, the NFL draft just has a life of its own.

This year is even more agonizing because the NFL decided to push the draft back a week or two. The Dallas Cowboys have always been my ultimate favorite team, and I always am interested in seeing who will be wearing the star on his helmet next fall.

My cousin and I have been doing draft simulators to try arm kill some of our time but it’s not the same. It almost just gives us a false hope of who our team will draft. We both are ready for football again.

Maybe football should just be a year long sport and play it while baseball and basketball is going on. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wouldn’t mind this!!

Different Lighting

In this photo I turned off all the lights and used just the flash on my phone. It really brightens up the Mark Cuban bobblehead and keeps the dark shadows all around him.

March Madness!!!

It’s that time of year again! The time where 64 college basketball teams try and win the national championship. That time where billions of brackets are filled out to try and predict the winner. That time of year for massive upsets.

Upsets like Dayton University beating powerhouses like Ohio State and then Syracuse. Upsets like Mercer beating Duke. And upsets like SFA beating VCU. It is so hard to predict a “perfect bracket” that Warren Buffet offered a billion dollars to whoever could predict the “perfect bracket.” And within two days of the tournament his money was safe. How anyone could have predicted some of the massive upsets is beyond me.

In case you were wondering how I did, let’s just say I had Duke winning it all in two brackets I did and advancing very deep in the tournament in the other two. That should indicate how jacked up my brackets are right now.

RSS Feeds: Not as relevant now?

I feel like RSS feeds are not as important now as technology continues to grow and as smart phones are becoming more and more popular. These feeds were great ideas when the internet first started as it was a quick way to look at what interested you. However, now with almost everyone having a smart phone they can simply get the news they desire from the palm of their hands. Whether its an alert sent to your phone or someone constantly checking their twitter for the latest news.

As a big sports fan I’m constantly checking my twitter account for the breaking news. On top of that I have an account set up where ESPN sends me text messages of breaking news and also score updates for all my favorite teams just in case I can’t watch them on that particular night. This is great for me because it’s so easy and available to me as long as my phone has service. I don’t remember the last time I got on the actual computer to look up if my team won or lost the night before, because I can find that from the palm of my hand with my phone.

I’m sure there are still some people out there that use RSS readers because of the convience of them if you do get on your computer regularly. It’s my opinion though that people are getting on their actual computers less and less because of the easiness and accessibility of smart phones and their capabilities. While it may not be decreasing quite as fast as newspapers, I would not be surprised if they are non existent within the next 15-20 years.

Brazilian student spends holiday away from home

less about the food.

“We do it more for the sake of being

together and enjoying our time as a

family, rather than sticking to the

pilgrims and Indians side of the story,”

Vazquez said. “The holiday consists

more of the process of cleaning, cooking

and having fun before and after the food

than the actual feast itself.”




The University partnered with

Aramark to provide Thanksgiving lunch

for international students yesterday. If

international students did not have a

meal plan the International Programs

office provided a ticket for the meal..

The Met served traditional

Thanksgiving foods and invited all

international students to come and have

lunch, Amanda Weaver University

director of International Programs said.

The University also distributed a

handout that explained what the

Thanksgiving holiday is all about.




The Tyler community has

opportunities for students to serve others

on Thanksgiving. The Salvation Army

serves three meals a day, year-round for

shelter residents and anyone in the public

who needs a meal.

“At Thanksgiving, our entire staff and

numerous volunteers gather the day

before and the day of, to prepare and

serve a sit-down lunch for our

[community],” Salvation Army Volunteer

Coordinator Jennifer Barnes said.

Barnes said that volunteers are always

needed at the Salvation Army especially

around the holidays.

“There are numerous [ways to help]

from our soup kitchen to the family store,

the lodge desk at the Center of Hope,

housekeeping, Angel Tree and bell

ringing,” Barnes said.

Any students interested in giving back

contact Barnes at



Contributing writers: Leslie Reyna,

Shenaye Fontenot and Jason Dougan.


Educating for the Future

Human Interest Group

Misty, Shenaye, Jason, Nizia, Leslie

Educating the Future

University Dean honored as Educator of the Year

As Ross Sherman stood in front of a group of children almost 40 years ago he said he never knew his longtime passion would turn into the greatest job in the world, being a teacher of teachers. Over the years, Sherman has been preparing teachers who have aspirations to be public and private school principals and superintendents.

Sherman has been honored as Educator of the Year by the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration for his years of service to education.

Sherman now serves as the dean of the College of Education and Psychology but has had a lifelong career as an educator. He began as a teacher and principal and after coming to the University he has been a professor and later the chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.

Sherman just finished his 25th year at the University this spring.

“What I tell my students at the end of their [Education Leadership] program is the greatest compliment you can receive is to be called a teacher of teachers. And that’s what a principal really is; he or she is a teacher of teachers,” Sherman said.

In a September press release University provost Dr. Alisa White said that the University was excited that Sherman’s contributions have been recognized externally because he has positively impacted hundreds of school districts in the state by teaching and mentoring.

Early life as an educator

Prior to coming to the University, Sherman spent seven years in Houston based Alief Independent School District as a public school teacher for an elementary school and principal.

Sherman said he had a big decision to make career wise after he received his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Houston.

He had to choose if he was going to stay in K-12 education with aspirations to be a school superintendent or to move into higher education with the goal to teach educational leadership.

Sherman chose to move into higher education after he received a unique opportunity to teach at the University in 1987.

This fall is the first semester in 25 years that he hasn’t been teaching in the classroom. The only break he took in teaching was when he received the news he had cancer.

Sherman was first diagnosed with Leukemia about six or seven years ago and he was treated for it and went into remission. Then 18 months later the cancer regressed and he underwent a bone marrow transplant.

Sherman is now a two-time cancer survivor. Sherman said his doctors believe he has been cured.

“It gave me an appreciation for just living and how important every aspect of your life is. Your family, your faith, your job, they’re all important,” Sherman said.

Sherman said he is doing great now.

Empowering educators

The TCPEA organization names a teacher every year to recognize outstanding instructors in the field of educational leadership in Texas, according to the nomination packet.

The TCPEA is dedicated to promoting the improvement and advancement of educational leadership by helping members in their roles as professors of educational administration, according to a September University press release.

Sherman has been a member for the TCPEA for 25 years. He joined during his first year at the University.

Sherman said the first TCPEA meeting he attended was inspiring.

“I walked in there and I see all these professors who have had such a significant influence on education especially on educational leadership,” Sherman said. “And you’re sitting among them not as a student this time but as a peer.”

Dr. Wesley D. Hickey associate professor of Educational Leadership has known Sherman for about 16 years. He said Sherman has made a big impact on educators in the area.

Hickey said individuals who have taken Sherman’s class talk about being ‘shermanized’. They take the lessons he has taught and bring them back to their schools.

“Shermanization is recognizing that if you’re going to make a difference on campus then you’re going to start with the teachers and develop them,” Hickey said.

Fellow student Hugo Ibarra said that the honor of Educator of the Year is quite fitting for Dr. Sherman, because he is always empowering educators.

Ibarra is now a principal for Bryan I.S.D. working at Navarro Elementary.

“We often talk about educators empowering and engaging children, but this is hardly possible without other educators empowering and encouraging adults, and this is what Dr. Sherman did for me,” Ibarra said. “He made me realize that there was some potential in me that could be utilized in the school system for the benefit of others and he has been a consistent source of advice and points of view.”

An evolving University and education  

Sherman said it has been incredible to watch the evolution of the University from an upper-level institution for juniors, seniors and graduate students to a comprehensive university.

“I can remember the days of us having conversations about having 2,500 students here at UT Tyler, Sherman said. “And now we’re talking about over 7,000.”

The Educational Leadership program prepares students who are interested in becoming principals or school superintendents. All of the students enrolled in this program are currently teachers and graduate students.

Sherman said since most of the students enrolled in the program are non-traditional students, five years ago the program moved from a face-to-face program to a solely online program.

“It was a significant change to go from face-to-face and being geographically rooted here in East Texas to all of a sudden being able to expand our borders,” Sherman said.

Sherman said technology in education impacts the professional schools like business, nursing, engineering and education the most. He added that the future for professional schools will be online programs.

“You’re trying to provide a service to busy working professionals, what they’re looking for is they want to continue their learning,” Sherman said. “They need opportunities that are more asynchronous and that are available when they are available.“

Sherman remembers how technology has changed when thinking back on his first year as a principal, teaching summer school.

“We had this little computer class that had three …commodore computers,” Sherman said. “But the kids were so excited about the fact that they had a chance to play on these [computers] as a part of summer school.”

A Family Affair

Sherman’s family is no stranger to the education field.

His wife, Cynthia Sherman is a senior lecturer of education at the University and his son, Geoffrey Sherman, is a graduate of the University.

Geoffrey was a history major and just made the transition to assistant principal in Tyler this year.

“My Dad is my idol so he definitely had an impact on my career choice,” Geoffrey said. “He has always impressed upon the fact that there can be no greater calling than to be able to impact the lives of young people.”

Geoffrey said he sees this throughout East Texas because people will come up to him and say ‘you are Dr. Sherman’s son’ and tell him how much of an impact his dad made on their careers in education.

“No one deserves this award more than my Dad. “Geoffrey said. “He not only talks the talk but he walks the walk, he is the ultimate teacher of teachers.”

Sherman said he is blessed to have such great students who are now educators throughout Texas.

“I don’t think there is any greater service in my estimation that someone can provide to our society than to prepare the next generation, “Sherman said. “And that’s truly what an educator does.”