Brenda Urioste

Hitchhiker, Hill Country enthusiast recalls adventures in new book

A lover of the Texas Hill Country and musician has documented his adventures on the road in a new book detailing his encounters with an eclectic group of individuals while hitchhiking across the country.

Jeff Commissaris recently published his book “Hitchhiking Colorado: Thumbs Up Experiences Riding With Strangers” to shed new light on the dated form of travel. Commissaris said he had his first experience hitchhiking when he set out on a cross-country biking trip.

“I was on the side of the road with my bike when it started to downpour. I didn’t even think about it, (and) I just stuck up my thumb on instinct,” Commissaris said.

Rings presented to soon-to-be graduates

After years of late nights, long walks to class and caffeine-fueled study sessions, the upperclassmen of Texas State celebrated their success Tuesday by attending the traditional ring ceremony held at the end of each semester. 

The biannual ceremony held at Strahan Coliseum is a time when upperclassmen can invite their loved ones to campus to watch them receive their official Texas State class rings.

 “My parents are so proud of what I have accomplished, and every time I look at my ring I’ll remember all the amazing times I have been blessed with during my time at Texas State, “ said Amanda Novak, education senior.

University Ambassadors share Bobcat pride with current and future students

One campus organization acts as the face of Texas State, always prepared to explain why, as they say, “It’s a great day to be a Bobcat.” 

The University Ambassadors is a chartered volunteer organization of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Alumni Association. They are responsible for giving tours and organizing Bobcat Days, among other duties. 

University Ambassadors represent the university and dedicate their time to sharing pride for the school. The organization members are known as “The Forty Faces of Texas State.” 

“University Ambassadors is one of the most important organizations here at Texas State because it is ultimately the gateway for every potential Bobcat,” said Paige Vaughn, public relations sophomore. 

Drag queen speaks on adversity at LBJ panel

The LBJ Teaching Theater was graced with kisses and feathers when drag queen BeBe Zahara Benet spoke on campus last Thursday.

Benet, winner of the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, came to campus to help answer the question “Does diversity really matter?” with a panel of Bobcats. 

The panel talked candidly about their personal experiences being judged by others based on race, gender and sexuality—and how they learned to overcome these struggles. Each member of the panel discussed the importance of embracing individuality and surrounding oneself with others who are accepting.

Catherine Bitney, a panelist and staff member at the counseling center, advised students to learn to be comfortable in their own skin. 

Center provides childcare, learning opportunity for students

Just to the left of the Student Recreation Center is a building of students of a different kind—preschoolers. 

The fenced building and the fenced-off playground beside it are actually home to the Texas State Child Development Center, where students and Bobcat babies alike can go to learn. 

The center offers a safe place for students, faculty and members of the community to leave their children while they go to work and attend classes. It focuses on developmental, play-based experiences for children enrolled and works to create a nurturing environment which fosters trust, creativity and acceptance. There are approximately 85 children currently enrolled in the program.

Texas State theatre alumnus takes street art to New York

One Texas State alumnus is happy to be living life up in the “CLOUDZ.” 

Tyler Wallach graduated from Texas State in 2010 with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, but it’s his artwork that is creating a buzz. Wallach took up street art in San Marcos but has since taken CLOUDZ, his unique graffiti brand, all the way to New York City and the surrounding area. 

Wallach looked for an outlet after being overwhelmed with theatre classes. He found solace in the art classes at Texas State available for non-majors. Brian Johnson’s screen printing class allowed him to indulge in creating colorful little creatures, which have become his trademark. 

“We had to come up with a theme for the semester, and it was sort of a representation of ourselves,” Wallach said. 

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