Clarke University announces new president, Dr. Thom D. Chesney

On February 26th, Sister Joanne Burrows announced Dr. Thom D. Chesney as the new president of Clarke University. Burrows, who has been the president of Clarke University since 2006, announced she was going to be retiring from her position in July of 2018. Her announcement sparked a nationwide search and concluded with a unanimous vote from the Board of Trustees, electing Chesney as the 16th president of the university.

Thom Chesney photo

via Clarke University

According to a biography issued by Clarke University, Dr. Thom Chesney previously held the position of president at Brookhaven College of Dallas, TX. He also maintained a number of administrative positions at other surrounding universities and colleges around Texas. Among these are The University of Texas (UT) at Dallas, vice president of academic affairs and provost of Collin College, and additional faculty and administrative roles at UT Dallas, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Texas Wesleyan University, and Whitman College. Chesney earned a doctor of philosophy in English literature, a master of arts in creative writing, and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish.

His background has been a positive point of discussion among many members of the Clarke community. Some students have expressed excitement about his involvement in liberal arts programs. The press release issue by Clarke University also revealed that Chesney’s wife, Noelle, is also deeply involved in the arts—holding a doctorate of musical arts in vocal performance.

Hannah Ingles, a junior at Clarke who is currently studying Graphic Design, said, “I think his leadership has the potential to bring about some exciting opportunities for some of the arts programs at Clarke. I’m really excited to see what changes he makes in promoting programs like mine. I hope he’ll be an advocate for the fine arts—all of them.”

In Chesney’s time at Brookhaven, he attempted to encourage student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates. Additionally, according to Clarke University’s press release announcing his appointment, Chesney has also been a reliable and active member of his community. He served on the board of the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce, which named him 2014 Citizen of the Year, and also took part in a number of other community programs.

Dr. Thom Chesney, along with his wife, Noelle, and two kids, Drew and Ellen, will be joining the Clarke community July 15th. Sister Joanne has stated that there are a few things she wants to complete before making her departure this summer, but is overall happy to pass the torch to Dr. Thom Chesney.


by Dane Shaull


Who will take home the Oscar? Predictions for the 2019 Oscar ceremony

With the Academy Awards coming up tomorrow, many movie fans are on the edge of their seats, wondering what movies are going to win. Well, as your resident movie lover, I have some ideas on who I think should win based on my personal tastes and interests.

Keep in mind I said personal choice. While I’d consider myself someone who has a lot of film knowledge, I am no major critic or movie aficionado. I’m just a fan. So buckle in! Here are my hot takes on what movies should receive an Oscar!

Actor in a Leading Role

My Pick: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Bohemian Rhapsody has acted as a dark horse candidate for the Academy Awards, and while it had average reviews, I do think Rami Malek deserves the Oscar. His portrayal of Freddie Mercury was fantastic, making fans truly believe that the lead singer of Queen was alive again. Spending hours perfecting the accent, the mannerisms, and learning to speak with a massive mouth prosthetic on, Malek’s dedication to the role was obvious from the moment he appeared onscreen.

Runner Up: Christian Bale (Vice)


Actor in a Supporting Role

My Pick: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)

Being that Ali has already won a well-deserved Oscar for supporting actor in the film Moonlight, there’s absolutely no mistake about what a phenomenal actor he is. While there are many great actors like Sam Rockwell and Sam Elliott who are also up for the award, Ali has been clearing the board at award shows from the Golden Globes to the Critic’s Choice. His depiction of a jazz artist set in 1962 traveling through racist America is top notch, and easily deserving of a second Oscar.

Runner Up: Sam Rockwell (Vice)


Actress in a Leading Role

My Pick: Glenn Close (The Wife)

This was one of the hardest picks. With such great actresses like Olivia Colman and Lady Gaga, it was difficult to decide who I feel came out on top. I truly think Close’s performance in The Wife was a golden one. Being that she has already been nominated for six Oscars previous to this year, she has been long overdue for a win.

Runner Up: Olivia Colman (The Favourite)


Actress in a Supporting Role

My Pick: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)

With a lot of recurring Oscar favorites in this category, this was another pretty difficult decision. Amy Adams has had a lot of positive reception for her depiction of Lynne Cheney in Vice, but due to the fact that King has been sweeping the floor at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards for her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk, King will most likely come away with the win. If Beale Street Could Talk is one of my underrated favorites that I thought should have been in the nominations for Best Picture. Hopefully, If Beale Street Could Talk will get at least a bit of recognition with a win for Regina King.

Runner Up: Amy Adams (Vice)


Animated Feature

My Pick: Spider-Man: Into the SpiderVerse

While my favorite movie in this category is Isle of Dogs, Spider-Man: Into the SpiderVerse takes animation to the next level with its mixture of 2D detailing and 3D animation. Not only that, but the story deviates from the normal timbre of superhero movies. Miles Morales, a sweet and somewhat naïve kid who is thrust into the world of superheroes and, of course, supervillains, is a breath of fresh air in a genre that has started to take itself too seriously over the past couple of years.

Runner Up: Isle of Dogs



My Pick: Roma (Alfonso Cuaron)

This year’s nominations for cinematography are fantastic, many of these movies using ideas that were used in older cinema. However, none of these films had the stunning visuals, details, and amazing long-takes better of Roma. From the mind of Alfonso Cuaron, who was originally only going to do cinematography but last minute had to step in as director, this movie’s visuals are outstanding. Each long-take feels like a strain on your emotions that just makes this film heart wrenching in all the best ways.

Runner Up: The Favourite (Robbie Ryan)


Costume Design

My Pick: Ruth Carter (Black Panther)

This one is a pretty obvious pick. While I think Black Panther doesn’t deserve the sheer amount of nominations it has, I think this award is one that’s well deserved. Carter puts so much effort into each individual costume, calling upon hundreds of references to not only make the film as beautiful as possible, but also as authentic as possible. The clothes in Black Panther are a mix of futuristic style and traditional dress, a juxtaposition that’s difficult to pull off. Carter was, somehow, able to execute it perfectly.

Runner Up: Sandy Powell (The Favourite)



My Pick: Spike Lee (Blackkklansman)

Another easy pick. Lee’s unique directing shines brightly in Blackkklansman, a true story based in the 1970s about a black police officer infiltrating the Klu Klux Klan. While there are other fantastic contenders, like Alfonso Cuaron (Roma) and Adam McKay (Vice), I think this award easily belongs to Blackkklansman.

Runner Up: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)


Documentary (Feature)

My Pick: Free Solo

While I admit that I was not keeping up with many of these documentaries, I had heard rumors of Free Solo being a box office explosion, and I have to say, it’s really good. While I am upset that the amazing documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” was not nominated, this will be my pick for the Oscar. This documentary is an amazing depiction of climber Alex Honnold and his preparation to do a free solo climb of famed El Capitan’s 900-metre vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park.

Runner Up: RBG


Film Editing

My Pick: Barry Alexander Brown (Blackkklansman)

With many strong contenders like Hank Corwin (Vice) and John Bottman (Bohemian Rhapsody),I truly believe that Blackkklansman and Brown deserve the award for their amazing editing. The emotion and power in many scenes is translated only through cuts and sequencing. Each moment is perfectly timed, and that brings the film together beautifully.

Runner Up: Yorgos Mavropsaridis (The Favourite)


Foreign Language Film

My Pick: Roma

Being that Roma is the only movie in this category nominated for best picture, Roma obviously deserves to win best foreign film. As I said before, the film is amazing in its shot composition and writing. Everything about it tugs at the heartstrings, regardless of any language barrier.

Runner Up: Cold War


Makeup and Hairstyling

My Pick: Vice

With the amazing makeup and hairstyling of Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia Dehaney, Vice makes you feel like every actor could be a doppelganger to their real life counterparts. Being able to make fiction into near reality is challenge enough, but Cannom, Biscoe, and Dehaney pull it off with ease.

Runner Up: Mary Queen of Scots


Music (Original Score)

My Pick: Terence Blanchard (Blackkklansman)

While I do quite enjoy the Japanese-influenced score of Isle of Dogs and the entirety of the Black Panther soundtrack, I think this another win for Blackkklansman. Blanchard does an amazing job mixing orchestral sounds with electric guitar, creating a perfect ambiance for a film with a 1970 style of rock and funk. Indicative of the fictional era its set in, Blanchard made sure the audience tapped their feet while watching.

Runner Up: Ludwig Goransson (Black Panther)


Music (Original Song)

My Pick: Shallow (A Star is Born)

It’s no surprise to see this one winning. With its major uprising in the pop genre, as well as the beautiful sounds of Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, and a guitar, I think “Shallow” deserves the Oscar.

Runner Up: All the Stars (Black Panther)


Sound Editing

My Pick: A Quiet Place

With a movie who’s plot is completely based entirely on sound, and the absence of it, this movie pays great attention to even the smallest of sounds. A shift of cloth sounds like an explosion in A Quiet Place, where a breakage of silence can mean a death sentence.

Runner Up: First Man


Sound Mixing

My Pick: A Star is Born

Despite having many huge competitors in this category like Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther, and Roma, I think A Star is Born has this in the bag. The entire film is based around sound and music, similar to Bohemian Rhapsody. However, what sets A Star is Born apart is its attention to perspective. Music and ambient sounds are different depending on the character being shown. The audience even gets a first-hand look at Jackson’s (Bradley Cooper) struggle with tinnitus, having a sharp ringing noise invade their senses when the camera moves to convey his experience. With this much care and attention being payed to even the smallest of details, I think A Star is Born is more than deserving of this win.

Runner Up: First Man


Visual Effects

My Pick: Avengers: Infinity War

Out of all of the movies in this category, Avengers: Infinity War is the one that has made history. While the visual effects in First Man and Ready Player One were fantastic, Avengers truly lives through its usage of visual effects. The world Avengers lives in would not exist without the help of CGI and other forms of video manipulation. Not a hard decision here.

Runner Up: First Man


Best Picture

My prediction: Blackkklansman.

Not a shocker if you have seen the whole list. With a great director, amazing story, great editing, and a killer score, I feel that this movie is the most deserving of an Oscar win. Though director Spike Lee has been known to make films that are hit or miss, he did an amazing job on the writing and directing for Blackklansman. This movie offers likeable characters that we root for til the end, and the story itself is an amazing retelling of the heroic act of a black man sneaking his way into the Klu Klux Klan to put an end to their more violent acts. The film itself is a commentary on real world racism, both of the 1970’s as well as today. Out of every movie up for the Best Picture nomination, Blackkklansman is the one that moved me the most, and I hope it wins.

Runner Up: Roma


Are you planning to watch the Oscars? Who do you think is the most likely winner for each category? Leave a comment down below or share your thoughts with us on social media @TheClarkeCrux !



by Dane Shaull

Dirty Computer: The biggest snub of the 2019 Grammys

From the get go, I will admit that I am biased. I have been a fan of Janelle Monáe since she released the song “Tightrope” in 2010. From the moment I saw her dancing across an asylum in a tuxedo, I was in love.  Through the releases of her more eclectic ArchAndroid and ElectricLady albums, I retained a deep seated respect for her and her work.

Screen Shot 2019-02-11 at 9.20.41 PM

via Rolling Stone

The 2018 release of her fifth studio album, Dirty Computer, only strengthened my love and respect for Ms. Monáe. A fusion of Afro-funk, rap, ‘90’s R&B, bubblegum pop and Prince-esque guitar riffs, Dirty Computer is a futuristic celebration of diversity. Paired with a gorgeous 48 minute visual or, as Monáe calls it, “Emotion Picture,Dirty Computer is a concept album which follows the life and rebirth of Jane 57821. Featuring hits like “Pynk”, “Make Me Feel,” and “Django Jane,” it was no surprise that Monáe earned Grammy nominations for Album of the Year and Best Music Video.

It was a surprise that she lost.

I hold nothing against Kacey Musgraves, the winner of this year’s award. However, I do have to question the criteria the Recording Academy are using to decide their winners. Are they looking for originality? Musicality? Creative lyricism? Because Janelle Monáe, in my book, checks every one of those boxes.

If you give Dirty Computer a listen yourself, which I highly recommend, you’ll see exactly why I’m so outraged. Not only is the album full of empowering hits that cross nearly every genre line— each and every song is filled with unmistakable heart. As a queer woman myself, songs like “Don’t Judge Me” and “Screwed” sound like anthems. The lyrics range from heartbreaking to funny, flirty, and outrageously relatable.

Past the wit, though, there is an underlying tone of seriousness and sincerity. In Monáe’s Emotion Picture, the character Zen (played by Tessa Thompson) admits at a pivotal part in the story that “People used to work so hard to be free. But we’re lucky here. All we have to do is forget.”

This single quote holds boatloads of cultural significance, especially in our current political climate when topics such as freedom and expression are highly debated.

At the end of the day, I believe that the Recording Academy avoided granting Dirty Computer Album of the Year for one reason and one reason alone: fear. The album itself is practically a love letter to progress, individuality, and independence. If I were to compare this years snub to a another famous Grammy brush-off, I’d say it was similar to the 2016 Adele vs Beyoncé debacle. People were outraged when Queen-Bey didn’t win Album of the Year for Lemonade, a stunning audio-visual masterpiece that celebrated and illustrated her experiences as a black woman in a strained relationship. Even Adele herself dedicated her acceptance speech to Beyoncé.

Not every detail fits, but the parallel is clear.

Regardless of the Recording Academy’s decision, I know in my heart that I will never find a more well-thought out, creative, and joyful album than Dirty Computer. It’s not only a collection of songs, it’s an experience— one filled with joy, hope, and above all, love. In years to come, I hope to see Janelle Monáe get the kind of recognition she deserves. After all, she’s Jane Bond, never Jane Doe.



by Mimi Ottavi

The Super Bowl was super boring


via CNN International 

I think a lot of us can agree that Super Bowl LIII wasn’t the spectacle that people were hoping for. To a lot of people in the United States, the Super Bowl signifies the biggest sporting event of the year. However, with recent details about the viewings of this year’s night of football coming to light, it’s been revealed that this year’s Super Bowl has garnered the lowest ratings in history, only pulling 98.2 million views. To put this into perspective, Super Bowl LII received 103.4 million views. That is a loss of 5.2 million views, making it one of least viewed Super Bowls since 2008.

So, why such a huge loss? Well, there are a number of factors to be taken into account, one of which being the controversy of the Rams placement in the game. On February 3rd, the night of the Super Bowl, a protest broke out in the French Quarter. It appeared that a number of New Orleans locals had felt the Saints were cheated from a spot in the game after a blown call in their match against the Rams that caused the Los Angeles team to win. To show their distaste of their team being cheated, many Saints fans flooded Decatur Street to protest the Super Bowl, leading to a massive drop of views from that area of the U.S.

But surely one town couldn’t make such a difference in views, right? Well, New Orleans wasn’t the only town to avoid the big game like the plague. Kansas City, home of the Chiefs who had lost to the Patriots, were also turned away from watching the game. Their numbers, while not as extreme, showed an 11% drop in viewership.

Finally, to put it bluntly– no one wants to see the Patriots in the Super Bowl anymore! Of course, there are a couple diehard fans that will be happy to see Tom Brady and the gang coming up the ranks annually. However, this is their third consecutive year, and this win gives them their sixth Super Bowl win overall. While many people rode the Patriots hype train around 2014, many can now reach the consensus that they have become a nuisance. No one wants to see the same team every year, let alone the same win. Viewers want to see more underdog teams, those who aren’t talked about enough. They want to see their own athletes have a chance. Hopefully, this next season will give those fans a chance to be surprised.

Overall, this Super Bowl was considered uneventful by many. With a low scoring game in a sport known for its fast-paced action and amazing plays, Super Bowl LIII just felt like a high school game. Even the half-time show and commercials were lackluster. Hopefully, the NFL will  take into account their low viewership and try to make next year’s game the spectacle fans are aching for.



Dane Shaull

How to stay sane in subzero weather

“Baby, it’s cold outside.”

No truer words have ever been spoken. Following two days of subzero temperatures, Clarke has delayed and canceled classes within the second week of school. Due to the fact that there’s no way to go outside without turning into human ice sculpture, we thought we’d give you some ideas of what to do while holed up in your dorm, apartment, or (hopefully) warm home.  Stock up on those canned goods, bundle up in your parkas, and steel yourselves for the cold snap!

  • Movie Marathon: Pop some popcorn, kick back, and relax! Invite friends and roommates, vote on a series, and begin your epic movie marathon.  There are tons of franchises to choose from– from Harry Potter to Marvel, DC to Hunger Games, or, if you’re desperate, Twilight.


via yonki

  • Read: Yes, people still do that for fun. A good book can teleport you away for hours. Its quick entertainment, and you don’t even need to plug it in to charge! Unless, of course, you read on a tablet or computer. This could be the time to reread books you’d forgotten you loved. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, take a dive into a new genre! Grab a blanket and a warm drink, curl up in your bed, and get lost in your story.


via odyssey

  • Game Night: Plug in that Xbox, pull out that game board, and shuffle that deck. Enjoy having a fun night of gaming, whether it’s taking your friends’ cash in a game of poker or battling it out on Fortnite. Unleash your competitive side and play to win!


via giphy

  • Homework: You laugh now, but getting ahead on your studies will allow you to actually relax in your short time off. Despite the fact that classes were canceled, teachers have been asked to provide work to students that could serve as replacement for class time. Clear up your schedule so you aren’t rushing at the last minute!


via wheninmanila

  • Art: Dance, sing, paint, draw, knit, or do something else creative! Stop using the left side of your brain for a moment and explore a new way to express yourself. Sometimes, you need to stop thinking so literally in order to allow yourself to see things in a new light. Find friends to be inspired with and see what you can create!


via giphy

These two days off might not have seemed like much in comparison to the month long vacation of Christmas break, but they’re still a treat! Make sure your time spent indoors isn’t wasted. Stay safe, stay entertained, and above all, stay warm!



By Maggie Christianson

All I want for Christmas is to pass my exams

Ah, finals week. It’s much liked the countdown to Christmas, but instead of Holiday cheer, students are riddled with sleep-deprivation, over-caffeination, and stress. It’s the magical week where majors of all kinds collectively lose their heads over exams, projects, and papers.

Everyone goes into finals week with a different attitude. Some students may suffer from test anxiety, while others may feel their heartrates pickup at the thought of giving a speech. There are perfectionists and those that go with the flow– optimists, pessimists, and everything in between.

Regardless of what kind of student you may be, whether you strategize your time with amazing restraint—determined to get your work done, even if it means staying up all night every once and awhile—or whether you can’t find it in yourself to stay up past 10 p.m. anymore, it’s important to acknowledge the one variable that unites us all during these trying last few weeks of the semester.

We all care far too much.

We treat our grades and our GPA’s as the end all be all—and, for some of us, they are. These grades are the gateway to our degrees which we need in order to go out into the work force or into a higher degree of study. So, we chug our cups of coffee and energy drinks, we sacrifice our mental health to our textbooks and notes, we go to bed at 3:00 a.m., and we panic all the while about whether or not we’re prepared enough.

The unfortunate truth is that most of us aren’t.

But we can be. Believe it or not, studying works wonders. If you find studying difficult, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are a number of different resources available for free use on campus, such as the MARC, the professors, and even other students. It may sound crazy, but everyone wants you to pass just as much as you do.

At the end of finals, when you turn in that last exam, when you give your final presentation, you’re free for the rest of 2018. Sure, you won’t know your grade for some time, but as long as you put in the work and give it your all, it doesn’t matter. You did all you could.

So enjoy your break and scrape together whatever holiday cheer you have left, because you deserve to relax. You worked hard this semester. You deserve this break, because if you’re coming back next semester? Who knows when you’ll get another chance to sleep for an entire month.

Happy Holidays, and Merry Finals!


By Maggie Christianson

How long does it take to cook a turkey in the microwave? The answer is: you don’t

Thanksgiving—an entire holiday dedicated to turkey, football, and Macy’s. Since we’re just on the verge of taking a break from school to head back home for the holidays, we thought it’d be appropriate to address the internet’s most recent trend. About a week ago, a new meme emerged on Twitter, highlighting the exasperated nature of mothers nationwide. An enormous number of young adults sent loving messages to their moms asking how they might cook a 25lb Butterball turkey in the microwave. Seems like a fantastic idea, right?


Via @Cassidy_OMealia

Of course, no young adult is actually attempting to nuke an entire bird till it’s cooked through. This meme is more about the frighteningly similar responses of each of these college student’s mothers. The reactions range from concerned to deeply disappointed.


Via @russelldpowell

One of our own editors attempted this harmless prank and sent a message to her mom. Only minutes later, our editor was FaceTiming with her mother, receiving a firm reprimand. While there is nothing more powerful than a mother’s love, it seems that a Butterball turkey in the microwave might be the breaking point of a mother’s patience.


Via @TheClarkeCrux

Have you attempted this viral turkey prank? If so, send us the screenshots of your parent’s responses on Twitter @TheClarkeCrux!

by Staff