While college students’ summer plans often consist of vacations or summer classes, Florida Tech Army ROTC students had another atypical break.
They completed rigorous training camps and
internships, traveled with cultural programs and attended specialized schools like Airborne School or Air Assault School.
Isiah Mossiah, a senior studying molecular biology, completed advanced camp at Fort Knox in Kentucky.
The camp was a 31-day training course Mossiah described as “a culmination of our previous three years of ROTC training.”
Cadetcommand.army.mil states that the mission of advanced camp is to assess a cadet’s potential to serve as a commissioned officer. It lists highlights of the training event, including first aid, a field leader’s reaction course and tactics training.
Mossiah said that cadets are put into platoons of 40-45 people, and are constantly evaluated by cadres—the officers responsible for the training of cadets.
He discussed field training exercises, explaining that the first is cadreled, while the others were completed independently for purposes of evaluation.
They also completed road marches of up to 12 miles.
“You have a 35 pound ruck on your back, and you have to make a certain time requirement,” Mossiah said.
He added that many exercises are pass or fail, and that cadets must pass to continue in the course.
Cadets are ranked at the end of the training.
This ranking influences their placement in the Army later on.
Mossiah said the training gave him valuable experience in communication with a diverse group.
He said it gave him the opportunity to compare and contrast his leadership skills with others, then use that to communicate more effectively across a group.
Sergeant First Class Arsenio Rodriguez, a military instructor with Florida Tech Army ROTC, said cadets completed summer training in Africa and South America through the Cultural Understanding and Leadership Program.
According to cadetcom-mand.army.mil, CU&LP
completely immerses cadets into another culture, improving their cultural awareness.
“They get to work with cadets that are in the same role as they are, but just in a different country, and they get to experience a day in the life of how they function and what their training consists of,” Rodriguez said.
He said some cadets attended Airborne School, a three week course which includes military parachutist training.
Others attended Air Assault School, a 10 day course which Sergeant First Class Jeremy Brandon, a military instructor with Florida Tech Army ROTC, described as “physical and mental.”
“You learn all about the capabilities and limitations of all the different rotary wing aircraft,” Brandon said.
goarmy.com states that the course is designed to prepare soldiers for missions that call for the use of transportation and assault helicopters.
Brandon said he thinks the biggest benefit of summer training is the real-world experience, where cadets are able to apply the theory they have learned, and “work through problems in a way that you can’t really simulate in a classroom or laboratory environment.”
He said these concrete experiences prepare students for the responsibility and depth of knowledge required of a lieutenant before they are commissioned into the Army.
Going forward into the fall semester, Rodriguez said cadets will gain more out-of-classroom experience in field training exer-
“They get to spend two nights out in the woods,” he said. “It lets us evaluate them as leaders and how they perform under stress.”
The field training exercises are planned for the first week of November.
Alternative rock veterans the Pixies took to a converted church to record their seventh album, “Beneath the Eyrie.”
The influence of gothic styles and indie tones supplement the albums alt-rock core, bringing unique accents to the Pixies’ signature sound.
The Pixies turn to their expert use of dynamics throughout the album, showcasing a balanced interaction of quiet and loud.
The few tracks that do not stand on their own are still part of the album’s excellent production, maintaining a cohesive sound all the way through.
“In the Arms of Mrs. Mark of Cain” opens the album with a perfectly blended mix of crystal clear percussion, grungy guitars and rich, crackling vocals.
It sets a vibe that brings words like “creepy” and “sinister” to mind.
The lead single “On Graveyard Hill” continues the gothic sound and theme the group intended for the album, according to lead vocalist Charles Thompson IV, widely known by his stage name Black Francis.
The sound is much more ‘90s than 2010s.
Pez Lenchantin’s work on the bass is outstanding here, and provides a backbone that encourages the listener to groove along with the “In the witching hour/In the witching hour” hook.
The gothic feeling is lifted, if only temporarily, with “Catfish Kate,” a bright, indie tune paired with a vivid music video to match.
The next track, “This Is My Fate,” pulls things right back into the dark style.
The precise mixture of bass and piano provides a deep, bouncing sound in the background, reminiscent of an upright bass.
“Silver Bullet” is excellently produced and creative, a shift from the measured, predictable “Ready for Love.”
One of the most outstanding features of “Silver Bullet” is its powerful guitar riff.
While the rest of the song has a generally calm demeanor, with soft guitars and relaxed percussion from David Lovering, this fueled-up riff brings power and substance.
In that sense, it is a classic Pixies track; the group has dynamics down to science, shifting from quiet to loud at just the right time.
The converted church setting the Pixies recorded in seems fitting when listening to a track like “Los Surfers Muertos,” and when looking back at the Pixies’ previous work.
As primary songwriter, Francis has long gravitated towards biblical imagery, dark aesthetics and unusual topics.
Unusual is a fitting term for “Bird of Prey” when compared to the album as a whole; behind the dark timbres of Francis’ vocals and Joey Santiago’s lead guitar, an almost country-like rhythm guitar fills out the sound space.
It is especially noticeable in the chorus and refrain, as the phrase “little birdie” is repeated softly.
The second-to-last track, “Daniel Boone,” maintains the dark aesthetic of the album, but ventures into brighter tones and timbres.
It is a relaxing track well-suited for a long drive, or even to sleep; while the song is not boring, its swelling, atmospheric instrumentals could definitely lull the listener to an indie-induced sleep.
Things are sealed off with the gothic-indie tune “Death Horizon.”
Bright vocal harmonies contradict the song title, and the instrumental is simple and well-blended. It is a short and sweet ending to the album.
Throughout this album, unexpected sounds and instruments come into play, while other instruments are measured and perfected.
While one or two tracks act more as atmospheric fillers than stand alone tracks, these are contrasted by strong tracks like “Silver Bullet” and “This Is My Fate.”
The album as a whole features creative choices and masterful songwriting.
“Beneath the Eyrie” sounds like the work of mature, experienced alt-rockers.
Florida Tech Fall
Pumpkin drinks in hand
Fall leaves instead are palm trees
Midterms end summer
Alarm is chirping
A ten minute walk to class
Forgot the text book
Australian rock band King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard released their fifteenth studio album, “Infest the Rats’ Nest,” on Aug. 16 as an experimental look back upon old school metal and psychedelic rock.
The album’s style is pleasantly cluttered.
There is a lot going on in the sound space, and not a single instrument is left unattended to.
Effects are used tastefully to create a balance of clarity and distortion.
Some of the more refined sounds call back to psychedelic rock, adding a trippy flair to familiar metal roots.
Powerful bass lines from Joey Walker blend with full, thrash-inspired guitars, driven by consistent all-out drumming from Michael Cavanagh.
The second track, “Mars For The Rich,” is a standout.
For four and a half minutes, it is impossible not to at least nod along to the groove, and the last minute or so of the track is likely to get you drumming on the nearest surface.
Though the album is categorized as metal on iTunes and other music platforms, there are many genres providing influence.
While metal fans will undoubtedly enjoy thrashing guitar tracks and frontman Stu Mackenzie’s gritty vocals, there are experimental elements at play that could certainly draw in fans of psychedelic rock, punk, surf rock and experimental music as a whole.
Each guitar track calls back to metal bands like Motörhead and Black Sabbath, with guitar credited to Mackenzie, Walker and Cook Craig in the album notes.
The metal mentality of this album shines through on tracks like “Organ Farmer” and “Perihelion,” that sound is contrasted by the slower pace of “Superbug.”
This lengthy track provides a rest in the middle of the album; there are frequent instrumental breaks, with an outstanding one coming in at 2:20.
“Superbug” is a perfectly timed change of pace from fast-paced vocals and driving instrumentals, readying the listener’s palette to dive right back into five more tight tracks.
It is followed up with “Venusian 1,” a heavy metal blitz with a quick enough pace and feeling to give any ‘70s punk track a run for its money.
“Perihelion” feels like a natural continuation from “Venusian 1.” Its intro might lead you to believe that the song is not going to impress, but it is saved by some interesting backing vocals that come in right in time to save the song and push things forward into the closing tracks.
“Infest the Rats’ Nest” serves as a tribute to the metal of yesteryear, but with crystal clear production and experimental influences from a range of genres.
The music refuses to pull at your emotions or sympathize with you at all, but that is not its purpose; it is an energetic, down-and-dirty collection ready for you to lock your door, pile on your darkest makeup or most studded clothing and rock out for a little over 34 minutes
Authentic. Resonant. Cohesive.
These are the intended qualities in Florida Tech’s new brand platform, “The Relentless Pursuit of Greatness,” according to Florida Tech’s Marketing and Communications department.
Wes Sumner, vice president of marketing and communications at Florida Tech, said that having a cohesive brand platform with a more unified style, imagery and tone will allow students to receive the most value from their degree.
The new brand debuted May 1. Sumner said the unified platform will aid in bringing positive attention to Florida Tech, increasing the value of students’ degrees by having a “louder megaphone to tell stories.”
Marketing and Communications worked with BVK, an independent marketing and advertising agency based in Milwaukee, to conduct a brand study and develop the new identity.
The agency’s work includes Michigan State University, the Beaches of Fort Myers-Sanibel and Bryant & Stratton College.
According to a case study done by the agency, Bryant & Stratton College experienced a 31 percent net increase in applications after their brand platform rollout.
According to Andy McIlwraith, director of marketing and brand strategy at Florida Tech, outreach to potential students is a significant aspect of the rebranding.
Promotional materials sent out to potential students will be completely redesigned.
“We haven’t done a view book in a number of years,” McIlwraith said. “We thought this rollout and the opportunity to share more about who we are was a nice opportunity to redo and relaunch a viewbook.”
According to McIlwraith, the viewbooks are planned to be a “substantial brochure” received by students who have in some way inquired about Florida Tech.
Along with redesigned promotional materials, McIlwraith said admissions will be one of the first departments to receive training in the new branding.
“The university is not just a what, it’s a who,” McIlwraith said. “We’re a hands-on university; we do big, exciting projects like senior design and business practicum.”
Daniel Supraner, director of athletic communications at Florida Tech, said that one of the main goals of Athletics’ marketing is to show more of the teams’ training in order to demonstrate the type of work that student athletes put into preparing for a season.
“We’re working on different ways we can start rolling out in the facilities,” he said.
He also said that much of Athletics’ new branding is showcased digitally, including on social media.
“[Students] always show their relentless spirit,” he said, “whether it’s on the playing field or in the classroom.”
McIlwraith said the idea of being relentless was a common ethos communicated by students in the course of the brand study.
“We have an approach to academics that’s different than a lot of other universities we compete with,” McIlwraith said.
He added that taking major-specific courses in the first year is part of that unique approach. McIlwraith said that branding goes beyond new fonts and logos.
“We are taking a very measured approach,” McIlwraith said.
He explained that a gradual approach to rebranding is cost-conscious, enabling the university to use existing budgets effectively.
“We attract what we feel is such a special brand of student,” Sumner said.
Sumner said that Florida Tech is proud to be a strong STEM institution that “embraces” majors outside of STEM.
He said the brand platform “is certainly holistic to the entire university, STEM majors and non-STEM majors.”
“We’re going to tell the stories of CoPLA through the Relentless Pursuit of Greatness,” he said.
Sumner said that coordination is key for extending the platform throughout Florida Tech’s campuses, including Florida Tech Online. “It requires a strong brand platform from which everyone can launch,” he said.
Students formed a club to run social media for Florida Tech’s Nathan M. Bisk College of Business this spring.
According to Kollin Upton, a senior studying business administration, the College of Business Social Media Team consists of about 10 students aiming to increase outreach and engagement to current and potential students.
Upton started the club and now serves as its administrator, meaning that he performs secretarial tasks and other “behind-the-scenes” work.
Upton said the group meets once a week to think of ways to promote the College of Business. The discussion and schedule revolves around events happening that week.
“We do things like student spotlights, or event spotlights, where we recognize events going on around campus,” Upton said.
He said that the student spotlights help appeal to prospective students by showing what current students are accomplishing.
Since the club’s formation, the members have created an Instagram account for the College of Business, floridatech_cob.
“It’s been about a month and a half,” Upton said. “Our Instagram presence has grown notably.”
He explained that the group began with a mass email to seek members. Interested students volunteered to participate, and Upton said the students continued with it because they enjoyed it.
The group includes international students and at least one nontraditional student, according to Upton.
He said that having members from different backgrounds helps provide different perspectives in their planning.
Upton says the group being mostly student-run allows for the content to be more relatable the student audience, since they are their own “target market.”
“Students know what students want,” he said.
The club is led by two student leaders. Upton said that having two leaders provides more than one “point of contact” for leadership duties.
Drew Bastian, a senior studying global management, is one of the club’s student leaders.
He said the club provides the students with marketing experience and a chance to use what they are learning, while giving them a say in how the College of Business is seen by others.
The group is working to gain followers on the College’s Facebook and LinkedIn.
According to Upton, the group has limited access to these pages, unlike the full access to the Instagram account.
Bastian said the club would like to improve the timeliness and accuracy of posts across these pages.
“The future plans for the group, currently, are to grow the social media presence of the [College of Business], and to eventually hand the group off to other students that are as interested in learning about social media and how it can help in business,” Bastian said in an emailed response.
He explained that the group does not currently have any other specific plans, but that he is “excited for the future.”
“With all the different backgrounds we have working on getting information and content made, I feel like anything can happen,” Bastian said.
According to Bastian, the club will be seeking new members in the fall semester.
Florida Tech campus cat “Sergeant” Socks has left his temporary post as Director of Security.
Socks’ plans for increased security measures included knocking objects off of all surfaces at Florida Tech to ensure that nothing could ever fall on a student. He made limited progress on his mission.
Socks refused a salary during his short tenure, a move students called “noble.”
He requested his only compensation to be unlimited milk from the dispenser in Panther Dining Hall.
He received positive feedback in his brief moment of leadership.
“He knew what the priorities were when it came to safety,” a student who wished to remain anonymous said. “He was about to write me a ticket for parking in the middle of Country Club, but a little red light mysteriously appeared and he decided that was much more important.”
Coincidentally, she hurriedly tucked a laser pointer into her pocket as she spoke.
Not everyone was happy with Socks’ changes, though.
Dogs were strictly prohibited from entering campus for a time.
“I asked him why, and he just hissed at me,” one dog owner complained.
On the date of his departure, several fish went missing from the Botanical Gardens.
The feline declined to comment on any possible involvement with the disappearances unless licking one’s paw for five minutes is considered a comment.