Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Express Optimism for Conference and Great Overall Season

By Mariah Pellino

They have been running fast, training hard, and preparing all season for their upcoming meet. The Clarke Men and Women’s Cross Country teams are awaiting the most anticipated race of their season: conference.

Their conference meet will take place on November fourth in Baldwin City Kansas. The results of this meet decide what teams and individuals will continue their seasons onto Nationals or which will come to an end. Although the meet is fast approaching, the anticipation of this meet has been building up over the course of many months for both the men’s and women’s team.

Photo courtesy of Coach Brooke Ferguson

All sixteen cross country runners, under the coaching of Brooke Ferguson, have raced at five other competitive meets. These meets include: The Mustang Gallop, Luther All-American, Brisman-Lundeen Invite, Loras Invite, and their most recent race the Seminole Stampede.

The women’s team most impressive finish being 6th out of 17 teams at the Brisman-Lundeen Invite. The team, led by the strong junior Lauren Block, finished with a total of 188 points to earn them their impressive 6th place finish. Block placed 9th overall with a 5k time of 20:41. The second runner for the team was freshman Lauryn Pritchard running a time of 22:05 and was followed closely by junior Emily Reisenberg at 22:06. Sophomore Alex Branham finished in fourth for the Clarke pack coming in at a time of 23:26. The other contributors were freshman Mariah Pellino, senior Anna Cole, and freshman Annie Knobloch. The eighth member of the team, Sydney Hendricks did not race because of an illness.

Although Lauren Block had a great finish and an overall large contribution to the teams 6th place finish at the Brisman-Lundeen Invite, this isn’t the only accomplishment we have seen from Block this season.

This is Block’s first season back after time off from an injury. She reflects back on her achievements thus far:

“I think as an individual, finishing my first race was a turning point within itself. Being injured for over a year, I never thought the day would come where I could actually run a race, and placing made it even more bittersweet”

The first meet of the season, The Mustang Gallop, was were Block first individually placed this season, placing 9th out of 74 runners. Additionally to this 9th place finish, Block has also placed: 6th, 9th, and 19th at the team’s other competitive meets.

It is with the help of the team that Block has made these accomplishments. She is not alone in the outstanding efforts that have been put in by runners this season. Each and every member of the women’s and men’s team have been working hard the entirety of the season, pushing themselves in every race and at every practice.


Photo courtesy of Katie


Block agreeably states that it is through teamwork that the team has come this far and is going to be prepared for, conference.

“As a team, we are all so encouraging of each other on and off the course. No matter a good workout or bad, we’re always there keeping each other’s spirits up. Cross country is a hard sport, and add in the factors of being a college student, the stress levels can reach an all-time high. By making sure we’re all mentally and physically ready to race, we can ensure a successful conference race”.

The men’s team has also had their fair share of accomplishments this season. Their best finish as a team was also at the Brisman-Lundeen Invite. They finished 11th out of 22 teams with a total of 312 points. Coming in first for the Pride was senior Malik McCrary with a 6k time of 22:36. Close behind him was junior, Logan Fraker running a time of 22:59. Sophomore, Mike Aguilar took the third place finish for the team’s pack, finishing at a solid 23:44. The fourth finisher for the men’s team was sophomore Kevin Ockenfels running a time of 24:26. The other contributors to the team’s strong finish were freshmen Jimmy Slowik, Devin Dobbles, and Reide Gallaway. The eighth member of the team, Craig Stout, who has been battling minor injuries, did not participate in this race.

The Clarke men’s cross country team has shown tremendous progress over the span of this cross country season. A lot of their success this season can be credited to the growth in members for the men’s squad.


Photo courtesy of Clarke’s Athletic Website


Back in 2015, the Clarke men’s cross country team consisted of only five members, which is just enough for them to race as a team. Since 2015, the men’s teams roster has grown to a total of eight members. This is a major positive change for the team as Stout adds:

“The team has gotten bigger. The more guys we have on a team, the more successful we will likely be. It’s nice going into practice knowing you have to bring your A game or you’ll get left behind”

They will be able to use this new advantage of more members to push one another during their next conference meet in a way they are not able to do previously. With only five runners in 2015, each member counted for the team’s score. Now they have to work together and push themselves to be in the top five that scores for the team.

With the anticipation at an utmost high, the excitement to see what the men and women’s cross country team will accomplish at their conference meet is overwhelming.


Photo courtesy of Katie 


For some, this will be their last conference meet in their collegiate running careers. This goes for the seniors Anna Cole, Sydney Hendricks, Malik McCrary, and Craig Stout.

Hendricks reflected on her last four years as a runner and shared what she is thinking as her days as a college cross country runner nears to an end:

“I want to finish the season and my career strong. But I know I’ll be participating in races after XC and am excited to start that part of my running career. I will miss my teammates tremendously though. They make the hard days easier.”

Undoubtedly the women’s and men’s team will miss the efforts, positive energy, and dedication that the senior members offer.

Embracing their accomplishments and remembering how far they have come, both teams are more than ready for their conference meets. Coach Brooke Ferguson talked about her goals for the teams as they get ready for conference. She hopes that both teams continue to pack run, work up during their races, and finish in the top half of the conference meet.

Hendricks shared what she would want to say to her team in regards to conference,

“I would tell them to run our best, have confidence in ourselves, and leave it all on the course. At the end of the race all that truly matters is that we ran our hardest and gave it all we had.”

Quick After Class Halloween Costumes With Makeup

Check out this video by Maggie Christianson and Lauryn Pritchard if you woke up this morning with the realization that you have no costume for the holiday. These makeup tutorials will help you with that last second Halloween costume, using the materials you already have in your room (and maybe from a quick Target run).

DIY Autumn Door Decorations

With the fall season in full gear, door decorations are becoming more and more popular. The festive decorations can range anywhere from simple caution tape for Halloween to vibrant garlands and wreaths of leaves. For my first year, both as a college student and decorating my door, I chose decorations more on the fall spectrum.

Here’s what I used on my door:

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  • Two garlands
  • Burlap ribbon or a premade burlap bow
  • Command hooks – the small clear kind and large white hooks
  • Photo frame
  • Paper of your choice
  • Wooden banner
  • Glitter letters
  • Fall signs

If you’d like to decorate your door like this, here are some instructions to do so!

  1. First, after I gathered supplies for my door, I began the process of making a fashionable whiteboard for my door.
  2. I pulled the stand off the back of the photo frame and placed the paper inside the frame.
  3. Following that, I placed command strips on the photo frame and then placed the frame on the wall.
  4. After the frame was on the wall, I began placing the small command strips on the doorway and hooking the garland into the hooks.
  5. Once the garland was in place, I placed the glitter letters on the wooden banner and hung the banner up by command hooks. I used my banner to spell out autumn but you could spell out whatever you want.

Here is the final door picture!IMG_0605



By Lauryn Pritchard

Zoey Weber: Saving Lives in Texas

zoeySummer of 2017 seems like a distant memory now, doesn’t it? We’ve already been back in school for a few weeks and loaded with homework. But some of us worked hard all summer too, furthering our education for our future careers. I’ll admit I enjoyed many days with my toes dipped in the pool and soaking up the sun. My dear friend, Zoey Weber, a student of the class of 2018, was busy saving lives. She made the move to Texas this summer to further her nursing skills and training with a summer internship. Let’s take a look at what she has to say about her experience.

She told me how growing up in Dubuque area and being familiar with the resources around her gave her the opportunity to work at Finley Hospital as a tech in the Family Birthing Suites since high school. She loves the environment she works in and plans to be a labor and delivery nurse at a larger hospital in Texas after graduation. Her dream is to continue her education and become a midwife.

Zoey loves Dubuque, however, she personally feels she would gain more experience in a big city like Dallas or San Antonio. The state of Texas is very dear to her heart. In hopes of pursuing this dream, Zoey applied for multiple nursing internships for the summer of 2017 in Texas. After a little bit of the waiting game, she received a call from St. Luke’s Hospital offering her an interview for a nursing internship. Zoey made the journey to Texas and had a successful interview. She got the internship! The internship was nine weeks long at CHI in St. Luke’s Hospital, which is considered the largest medical center in the United States. She split her time working with a nurse preceptor on the surgical floor and working in the ICU during the second half of the internship.

The excitement, nerves, and readiness for this new adventure filled her. Immediately she began looking for apartments or places to stay. The scary part for her was that she didn’t know many people in Texas and realized she was really her my own making adult decisions. Perhaps she didn’t find the nicest place of them all to stay, but thankfully her best friend gave me a care package with scorpion spray to ward off any creepy crawlers who might want a place to stay in Zoey’s apartment.

Another new experience and somewhat of a challenge for Zoey was the public transportation. The hospital did not have parking for its employees, which meant she would be taking the public train system to and from work. Although public transportation is beneficial, she witnessed some interesting events on the train rides that she does not want to see again.

Maybe there were a few setbacks and things to adjust to, but the internship provided Zoey with such a life-changing education and experience. Who knew one could learn so much over the course of nine weeks? Because she worked in labor and delivery back home, she felt nervous being placed in the oncology unit for the first half of the internship. This hospital, being a medical center, has many trials and many basics that she will need for a career. Zoey expressed how she felt so lucky to be able to learn in this setting. She got to place IVs every day, drew the entire floors lab work every morning, did lots of dressing changes, and much more.

The absolute craziest moment of this internship was when one of Zoey’s patient’s heart stopped while she was alone with the patient! Zoey calmly called a code to get help, but still needed to resuscitate the man with the help of two other CNAs while they waited for the doctor to arrive. They had the patient back to life before the doctor arrived, and it was the most intense moment of Zoey’s nursing career thus far.

Her internship also took a change of course this summer. She planned on moving to the ICU for the second half of the internship, but due to matters out of her control, she instead got offered a position with the rapid response team within the hospital. They assist when there are patients who have heart attacks, strokes, and need resuscitation. So, needless to say, many more intense and educational experiences are now under her belt from the time with the rapid response team.

Zoey is beyond grateful for the experiences she had in Texas at St. Luke’s this summer and learned so much. Now she feels so prepared to do her ER and ICU clinicals with the nursing program at Clarke this fall. There were both trials and tribulations, but she would do this again in a heartbeat. Zoey looks forward to her senior year as a nursing student, and she’s excited to move to Texas after graduation and work as a full-time nurse down south.

Clarke University is proud to have students like Zoey Weber. I am proud to call her my friend.

Unfortunately, right after Zoey returned home from the beautiful state of Texas, Hurricane Harvey hit. It was shocking that the place she lived in all summer and grew to love very much was now under water and mass destruction. If you are interested, please click the link below to donate to the hurricane relief in Texas. Thank you.


By: Megan Kane

Taking Chances

What is it like walking away from everything you’ve ever known? What happens when we leave behind the people, the places, and everything else that once composed the entirety of your life? What does it take to break out of your comfort zone? How do you take the next step?

I kept asking myself these questions. I was so puzzled by the idea that an 18-year-old girl, like myself, was expected to just up and leave everything I have ever known to move to a new state, with new people, new classes—new everything.

How does one prepare for this journey? I suppose you could say, “You just box up your things, say your goodbyes, and bring along the memories.”

So that’s exactly what I did. I boxed my things, said my goodbyes, boxed more things, made the drive, and held tight to my memories. I moved out into a whole new world and away from everything I have ever known. I crossed the Iowa border, leaving behind my home and shattering my comfort zone in the process.

Weeks later, I sit writing to you alone in my new dorm room, at a new school, with new friends, and essentially, a new life. I don’t think I can say I was prepared for all of this. I mean, I knew it was coming, and I was okay with it. At least, as okay as a person can be under the circumstances and with the knowledge of the obvious challenges to come.

Here is what I have learned thus far.

Life isn’t like the ACT. There is no preparation for the hard parts, there are no direct answers to the problems, and there is no structured format to what it will be like. You simply just have to face it as it comes and learn as you go.

So, what is it like walking away? What does it take to break out of your comfort zone? How do you take the next step?

For me, it was all in the first step. It took everything in me to make that first step.

Change is hard, but it is only as hard as you make it. It is all in making that first step. Once you have, you get to decide whether you go from there or stay in the same place. You can be angered, confused, and saddened by all of the things that are changing, or you can embrace the beauty of the newness of everything in your life.

So that is what I did. The first step was taken which led me here. It isn’t easy, the phone calls have become more than many, the memories sometimes linger, but the adventures, the newness, the laughter, challenges, the constant ice cream, independence, new memories, the abounding love, the messiness of life—all of this makes it worth it.

All of the struggles that were put into this now ever-so-changing period of my life has opened my eyes and allows me to love the new life I have been blessed with. Over the past few weeks I have faced many changes that come along with my new life as a college student. With the difficulties change brings, I have caught a quick glimpse of how great this new life is going to be. I have learned all over again how to embrace new experiences with open arms, how great it is to welcome new people into my life, and most importantly how to love life even when it is different from the “normal” you are used to.

I know that we all face adversities in our life and we all have to deal with change as time goes on.

Nothing can prepare you for change, but how you candle the change is everything. So embrace it, look past the difficult parts and find the beauty in it. Just take the step, move forward, reach out of your comfort zone, and go for it. It won’t always be easy but change is a beautiful thing. It helps you learn and grow into the person you are called to become. Walk towards the unknown with a heart filled with optimism and a soul filled with trust. Take the leap, accepting that you do not know what will be on the other side, but trust it will all be okay.

By: Mariah Pellino

Instagram Worthy Destinations


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The Voices Mural Project artists have completed 18 intriguingly aesthetic murals in downtown Dubuque. Filled with vibrant colors and whimsical designs, they have surely brought a lot of life to the streets of the city. The organization behind the street art project, Voice Productions, wanted to bring an urban experience to the city and give a space for artists around the country to express their ideas. This project has been funded through a state grant and supported by local business.

The main reason for this project was to be able to draw out more talent from the area and give people an interesting place to go and feel as though their city has culture. People of all ages can come and enjoy a stroll through downtown to view these urban works of art.

If you haven’t posted anything new on your social media in a while you should take advantage of the amazing artwork displayed within the streets of downtown Dubuque. There’s definitely a reason why these murals are getting so much attention.

To see even more art that Dubuque has to offer, the Dubuque Museum of Art and newest Art on the River sculptures are something you will enjoy! The Dubuque Museum of Art is open 10am through 5pm Monday through Friday, and on weekends 1pm to 4pm.


By: Stevie Eide


A Taste of the 50’s

Each Friday and Saturday night, two films play back to back in a lot 5 miles south of Maquoketa off Highway 61. In a generation that constantly refers to the aesthetic of the 1950’s, there’s nothing more beautifully cliché than a drive-in theater. The 61 Drive-In is authentic in its vintage appeal, opening in 1950, being taken over by its current owner, Dennis Voy, in 1972. According to Voy, the year he started running the 61 was a big year for drive-ins all around.


Photo Credit: Travel Iowa

“Drive in theaters became very popular because cars were so in fashion,” said Voy. “Business was really at its peak. As time went on, though, a lot of them shut down because they were at the edge of town. People didn’t much see the appeal of driving out, but we’ve survived. We’re still here.”

With the ever-expanding list of ways to watch movies nowadays with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other forms of streaming as well as the in-town theaters such as Mindframe and AMC, it’s easy to see why drive-ins fell out of popularity. Other methods of watching films have an aspect of convenience. However, there’s one thing a drive-in has that new modern forms of movie going doesn’t: nostalgic charm.

Popcorn, soda, the smell of grass and fresh air as the windows of the car are rolled down, and the crackle of the radio turning on as the opening lines to a movie are pumped through the speakers. The 61 isn’t just a relic of the Golden Age, it’s a genuine, beautiful experience to share with friends, family, and romantic partners.

“It’s a bargain, you know,” stated Voy. “Two movies for $8, concessions, and a unique environment that’s hard to find somewhere else. 61 is one of the only places in the area you can get a real taste of the 50’s.”

By: Mimi Ottavi

Clash of the Classes


Every year since 2013, in mid-February Clarke Residence Life has held a week- long event known as Clash of the Classes. During this week students of different classes go head—to—head in competitions to earn points for their class. At the end of the week the class with the most points is named the winner and receive bragging rights until there is a new champion the next year. There is also a banner in the Student Activity Center (SAC) where the name of the reining class is on display.

Callie Clark, Director of Engagement and Intercultural Programs, explained the origin of Clash of the Classes. Clark stated, “We had noticed that there was a full week packed with activities, fun events and prideful events during homecoming in the fall semester, but there was nothing of impact like that in the spring semester.”  Clark continued on to compare Clarke to larger universities, “Some other universities with Greek life present on campus have something called ‘Greek Week’. Since we don’t have Greek life we decided to use the different classes, freshman through senior, to create a sense of competition.”


There are typically two events each day. Minute—to—win—it events are held in the Wahlert Atrium from 11:00am-1:00pm and can include cup stacking, moving an Oreo from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands, and other exciting games. Clark commented on the minute—to—win—it events saying, “[the] games in the Atrium are to create visibility and give people a reason to stop by the table and get to know what Clash of the Classes is. It’s a good promotion tool for the events that occur later in the day.”


The second events each day are typically held in the evening. Sometimes these games include bubble soccer, Euchre tournaments, kickball, and other events that promote competition, fun, and class pride.

Theresa Koos, Senior Manager of Residence Life, was in charge of setting up most of the events this year. “I think [it] is a great way to increase Clarke Spirit! It encourages Clarke students to take pride in their class and support their fellow classmates.”

Junior Kali Schroeder participates in Clash of the Classes activities every year saying, “The games are a good way to have a good laugh before or after class. I’m glad Clarke gives us so many opportunities to have fun.”

Freshman Megan Brunscheon barely knew about the week of activities: “I wish they would promote it more. I barely even knew what was happening when, and didn’t even know that [Clash of the Classes] was happening until it was almost over. I wish I could have been a part of it.”

After a three year winning streak from the class of 2016, some fresh blood finally took home the gold. Despite some complaints about being unaware of the event, the class of 2020 showed a great amount of participation throughout the week.

Which class will triumph over the others next year?

-Jamie Deering



Admitted Student Weekend starts with the purpose of financial, educational, and social advancement.

Clarke University, located in Dubuque, Iowa, welcomed future students to attend Admitted Student event in order to receive a scholarship and get a start on their Compass requirements.

Admitted Student Weekend, formerly known as VIEW Weekend, occurs every year during the spring semester of the academic school year at Clarke University. The purpose of these weekends is to provide scholarships to those admitted students who attend and participate in the events of the weekend.

For completing the weekend and participating in the events, each student receives a $1,000 scholarship for the duration of their academics at Clarke University. This gets added to their financial aid package to assist with tuition, fees, room, board, or other expenses.

The events for the weekend focus on providing those students in attendance with opportunities to bond with fellow admitted students, participate in a group activity that will assist them with graduation requirements, and learning more about the institution prior to attending.

The graduation requirements that participants get to start are part of the university’s newly implemented Compass requirement. Kelsey Meyer, the Clarke University Campus Experience Manager, explains, “Compass is a program that allows the individuals on campus to formulate all the activities of a typical Clarke undergraduate into different experiences that translate into life after college.”

For the Compass activity, each group of students is in charge of creating a club on campus that promotes self-sufficiency. This would mean that the primary focus should be on students to provide for themselves and help them after college. This has allowed previous participants to create clubs focused on money management and checkbook balancing.

Although the Compass graduation requirement activity is the primary focus of the event, participants get the opportunity to do more.

The Saturday night of the event, student’s head to the Lion’s Den, the campuses common lounge area, in order to enjoy music, dancing, desserts, and conversation with their peers. This allows the students to socialize and make new friends for the upcoming school year. This has been reported as the place where students meet their future close friends.

“When I attended [Admitted Student Weekend], I ended up making friends with people that I continue to be close to as I am rounding out my college experience,” states senior Delaney Borst.

Admitted Student Weekend is also an event that staff members enjoy. Admissions Visit Intern Joshua Bradshaw, who coordinates the event with the admission’s staff, expressed, “This event is really fun to plan and attend because meeting and talking to new people who will be at Clarke promotes the expansion of Clarke’s community for future generations.”

Admitted Student Weekend is held on three weekends this year with hopes to accommodate the growing interest in the event with perspective students. If you would like to help facilitate groups on future weekends, please contact Kelsey Meyer in admissions.