Disclaimer: This is a collection of past writing projects. Please notice the dates of the articles and essays in this portfolio and realize that some of the news related stories were written years ago and are not necessarily current event stories. 

Writing Portfolio

Oh, the places you’ll know

Finding and making the most of campus resources

If you are registered and attending classes right now, hopefully you are already familiar with departments like Advising, Hawk’s Hub (bookstore), Financial Aid, and the Bursar’s office, as well as TRiO and Transfer student programs. But what else is there?

Former students have unfortunately reported attending and graduating from a complete 2-year Associate’s Degree Program without ever knowing about or making use of some of the many free services

Music & art go hand in hand

Several students at Black Hawk College, along with the Art teacher, Zaiga Minka Thorson, were chosen to work on a fundraiser project for the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra called “100 Years, 100 Cellos.”

As the title predicts, there were 100 total cellos commissioned to be painted by artists of all ages throughout the Quad Cities. These works of art will be on stage during the season grand finale performance by superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma on May 14.

After that, they will be on display at the Fi

Life is worth living longer

“I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel.” This phrase is from the original Hippocratic Oath. At what point among humanity, then, did it become acceptable to play God and decide when life no longer had value? When did it become appropriate to comply with the request of a sick patient to provide a suicide pill?

“The subtle pressures to go along – to avoid costly treatments – can easily lead to acquiescence, especially if the patient is confused. Believe m

Figge Art Museum – More Than Meets the Eye

“Bringing art and people together. We enrich our community with the experience of art through education, collections, exhibitions, and preservation.” This is the Mission Statement of the Figge Art Museum in Davenport. College students in the Quad Cities will be admitted free of charge during normal business hours. Simply take your Black Hawk ID card to get in.

Tim Schiffer, Executive Director at the Figge, encourages college students to use the museum as an extension of their education, stating

The Limits of Success —

Ryan Riley is a 33-year-old senior at the University of Iowa studying English & Creative Writing. As a child, he was quiet, and the only child of two working parents—a latchkey kid who was picked on a lot in school. “They used to call me ‘chinky,’” he remarked nonchalantly. “It didn’t matter that I was Korean.” Despite being bullied, he was an honor roll student at MacArthur High School in Lawton, Oklahoma, graduating at the top 10% of his class in 2003. Unsure of what to do with the rest of his

Who's Watching You? —

Whistleblowers. Drones. Surveillance. These terms float in and out of news headlines with names like Reality Winner, Julian Assange, John Walker Lindh, Chelsea Manning, and Eric Snowden hovering over them. Who and what does surveillance really involve? Is it something the average person – the average college student – needs to be attentive to? These are questions author and UI assistant professor Kerry Howley seeks to explore in her forthcoming book, Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs.

On the even

Writing the Everyday, the Octogenarian Way —

I skipped my “Writing the Everyday with James Joyce” class in order to attend a reading by the esteemed Carl Klaus, founder of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and Professor Emeritus at the University of Iowa. In addition to teaching at the UI from 1962 to 1997, he’s widely known for his work on and about essays. His books directly related to the craft of essay-writing include The Made-Up Self (2010), Essayists on the Essay (2012), and A Self Made of Words (2013). He’s most known for these book

Viva la résistance!

“What better way to declare the endurance of France than to live it up at a café?”

November 13th is another marked day in terrorism history for France and the world. Little can shake the haunting memories from 9/11 that forever changed the way we look at our freedoms. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for 9/11. ISIS, who accepted responsibility for the attacks in France, is a more ruthless offshoot of al-Qaeda.

resulted in 129 people dead and more than 300 wounded. Six separate sites encountered

Operation unending obligation

Whether they joined the Air force, Army, Navy, or Marine Corp, they went to fight against terror – on a mission – a commitment. Niko Pilcher, Benefits & Education Counselor with the Veterans Resource Center at Black Hawk College served in the Army and understands the mentality of a former soldier wanting to go back to fight against ISIS with Kurdish peshmerga forces.

“When they were deployed to Iraq, they felt like what they did actually did some good.” Pilcher explained. “They want to make sur

People who make a difference in the face of ISIS chaos

In mid February as many as 300 Syrian Christians were abducted by ISIS militants during a fight for power along the Khabur River in Hassakeh province. This incident followed the simultaneous beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians who were abducted earlier in the month.

According to the Assyrian Network for Human Rights in Syria, the hostages have been moved to Shaddadeh, south of Hassakeh. However, the condition and exact location of these hostages is still unknown. Some believe they may be used

Hanging with an old friend – A night with James Taylor

James Taylor and his All Star Band played to a packed house at the iWireless Center on Thurs., Nov. 6, 2014. His timeless blues style of music resonated with fans both young and old. They shouted out, whistled, and sang along with favorites, and were delighted to hear new songs not yet available on recording.

He started the evening with the first song, “Something in the Way She Moves,” that he presented to Paul McCartney in 1968, kicking off his legendary career. Throughout the evening, Taylor

“I’m going to Disney World!”

Black Hawk College was the first community college to participate in Disney’s College Intern Program twelve years ago. Since then, Bruce Storey, from Career Services in Building 1, has helped nearly 140 students make their way through to the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’.

Each semester there is a short application period of about six weeks, which consists of an online application, an internet questionnaire, and a phone interview. Storey will walk the applicants through these first two steps. While