The Pony Express

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The student news site of Panola College.
Updated: 1 hour 54 min ago

Panola hosts Rodeo Olympics: A Photo Gallery

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 2:52pm

The Panola College Rodeo Team hosted a four-hour Rodeo Olympics event on Thursday, Sept. 21, at Cattlemen’s Arena, for area students with special needs. Enjoy the photos posted with on the Pony Express. To see more photos, go to Panola College Rodeo Olympics, Photo Gallery One and Photo Gallery Two and Photo Gallery Three. Gallery Three photos are courtesy of photographer Kraig Cain. Galleries One and Two are from Pony Express staff and Katy Chance, Residence Life Coordinator.

Still Waters Cowboy Church members donated, prepared and served lunch to all children, Rodeo Team members and volunteers. Thanks for all you do for the Panola College Rodeo Team.

Are you in the Rodeo Zone?

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 2:51pm

Panola College Student Activities hosted Rodeo Zone from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20. Free lunch was provided by the BSM. Selected photos are posted here, and more are available online in the Panola College Rodeo Zone Photo Gallery.

Photo Gallery – Ponies Baseball @ LaTech Tourney

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 2:05pm

The Panola Ponies Baseball Team traveled to Ruston, La., on Friday, Sept. 15, to play Bossier Parish Community College and Tyler Junior College in fall baseball action. Local photographer Kraig Cain has shared his photos. See them here, and see more in the Panola Ponies Baseball – LaTech Tourney Gallery. (Click on “grid view” to see thumbnails of the photos.)

The TX/NM JUCO All Star Game will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23 at Weatherford College. On Thursday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 30, the Ponies travel to Lufkin for a tournament at Angelina College.

Follow the Ponies on the Panola College Athletics Baseball Page.

Steel Magnolias set for September 22-24

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 11:39am

Come have dinner with the ladies when the Panola College Drama Department presents “Steel Magnolias,” as the dinner theatre presentation on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23. A dessert matinee performance will be held on Sunday, Sept. 24. All performances will be presented in the Panola College Studio Theatre in the Q.M. Martin Annex.

Dinner will be served from 5:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 6:45 p.m. The Sunday desserts will be served from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m., with the show at 1:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $40 for adults, $35 for Panola College faculty, staff, students and seniors (65+), and $25 for children 12 and under. The dessert matinee price is $25 for adults, $20 for Panola family and seniors, and $15 for children 12 and under.

Reservations are required because of limited seating. To reserve a seat, go to Online Ticket Sales on the Panola College website, or call 903-693-2064, or email:

Produced by special permission from Dramatists Play Service, Inc., this performance of “Steel Magnolias” is being directed by guest director Liz Hedges. The play’s author is Robert Harling.

Green Jackets invites applicants

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 9:40am

The Panola College Green Jackets is an organization of students who serve as ambassadors for the college. The Green Jackets are accepting nominations for new members.

To be considered for membership, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and at least 12 semester hours of coursework each semester. Students need two letters of recommendation: one from a faculty member and another from either a faculty member or community representative.

Once the application is received, students will have an interview with Amy Calhoun, faculty advisor. If approved, the student will be assigned a green blazer for use during Green Jackets events.

Members of the Green Jackets attend regular meetings, participate in fall and spring commencement ceremonies by welcoming attendees and handing out programs, participate in at least one service project each semester, assist with campus tours, and serve as ambassadors at college events, as needed.

“We encourage all students who meet the academic qualifications to apply for membership in the Green Jackets,” said Calhoun. To apply, stop by Calhoun’s office in the Monk Science Building.

Participation in Green Jackets is a positive addition to a student’s resume because it illustrates campus and community involvement, as well as leadership potential for the future.

Green Jackets President Cole Donald of Carthage said, “Last year, the Green Jackets led the Veterans Day Dinner event, and participated in Panola County Day and Community College Day in Austin. It was a wonderful experience. I hope more students will consider joining the Green Jackets.”

Panola College to auction BBQ pit for Harvey victims

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 4:26pm

Starting Monday, Sept. 18, Panola College will hold a Facebook auction for a BBQ pit. The cooker was built by welding students at the Shelby Regional Training Center along with their instructor, Clint Cassell.  The pit is 36x23x23” with double slide out racks and a removable heat shield, so you can either smoke, or charcoal grill on this pit. The fire box is 23x23x16″. It also has a damper in the stack, and a damper in the fire box. A custom BBQ pit, such as this one, could retail for up to $1,500.

The proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Greater Houston Community Foundation to support the relief effort from Hurricane Harvey. The Greater Houston Community Foundation is a public charitable foundation whose Hurricane Harvey Relief fund is focused on immediate and long-term relief efforts in Harris County and Houston (which may include cities in Fort Bend and Montgomery County).  The relief efforts will include aid to victims of flooding and other weather caused by Hurricane Harvey, including shelter and temporary housing needs, food and supplies, healthcare, and multiple other needs.

“We built this BBQ pit intending to use it as a fundraiser for the welding department at Panola College, but we wanted to help with the relief effort in the Houston area and in the surrounding counties and this seemed like a great opportunity,” Cassell said.

The auction will begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 18 and will close on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m. The bidding will start at $350 and increase by $25 increments. To place a bid, simply visit and place your bid in the comment section underneath the auction post. The winner of the auction will be required to pick up and pay for the cooker by Thursday, Sept. 28.

Panola to host college rodeo Sept. 22-23

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 3:40pm

Panola College will host the first collegiate rodeo in the Southern Region Circuit on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22-23 at the Panola County Cattleman’s Association Arena on Highway 79 North. Cowboys and cowgirls from 11 college and university rodeo teams have been invited to participate.

“The Panola College Rodeo in September is the largest rodeo of the year in the Southern Region,” said Don Clinton, Panola College Vice President of Student Services and Athletic Director. “For two days, Carthage will be home of the largest contestant rodeo ever in Panola County. Nearly 500 of the top college cowgirls and cowboys in the country representing the Southern Region will bring their journey down ‘The Road to the CNFR’.”

The College will celebrate the event with Rodeo Week activities including games and contests, according to Jody Harris, Student Activities Coordinator. Monday, Sept. 18, will be Western Wear Contest with the best dressed cowboy and cowgirl being recognized at noon in the dining hall. At noon on Tuesday, students can play horseshoes and try their hand at roping outside the Student Center. On Wednesday, a group called “Rodeo Zone” will be on hand to provide games and entertainment.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 18-20, Panola College Rodeo Team members will be on hand from 7 until 8 a.m. to welcome car-riders and bus-riders at Carthage Primary School and Libby Elementary School.

“Our team members get a big kick out of surprising these youngsters as they arrive at school, and the kids love seeing and having a chance to talk to real cowboys and cowgirls,” said Jeff Collins, Panola College Rodeo Head Coach.

On Thursday, the Panola College Rodeo Team will host the Rodeo Olympics for special needs children and young adults. This event is open to the public and will be held at Cattlemen’s Arena from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The real action occurs Friday and Saturday with a 9 a.m. Slack, followed by the night competition at 7 p.m.

Colleges and universities competing in the rodeo include Panola College, Sam Houston State University (current National Champions), Texas A&M University, McNeese State University, Hill College, Wharton Junior College, Texas A&M Kingsville, Texas A&M Commerce, Northeast Texas Community College, Trinity Valley Community College, and Stephen F. Austin State University.

Dasha Eremeeva: Pony Express columnist

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 2:07pm

Hello everybody! My name is Daria Eremeeva (my short name is Dasha) and this is my second year in Panola College. Actually, I’m from Moscow, Russia. I play basketball and I love this game. I started to play basketball when I was seven years old. My mom is a basketball coach so I had no choice what sport to play. My dream was to play basketball in the country where this sport was born.

I graduated from high school in Russia and I decided to try to go to college in America. It was a hard way, but I did it! Now I’m studying at Panola College, majoring in journalism. I would like to be a sports journalist, because I love all kinds of sports. Certainly, I want to be a basketball journalist. I want to take interviews, to make notes about the game, or to write a column in a sports magazine. I’m a communicative person, so I like to meet new people and to talk about everything.

I’m writing a column in The Pony Express this year. In this column, I’ll tell you all about some interesting facts of Russia, how I feel so far from my home, how I overcame the language barrier, my thoughts (as a new person in this country) about the U.S. and about life here. I’ll compare different countries according to different criteria: food, traditions, language, holidays, relationships between people, education, sports, etc.

Stay with me! It should be interesting!


History Club meets to plan fall activities

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 2:19pm

On Monday, Sept. 11, the History Club had its first meeting to plan activities for the fall semester.  During the meeting, President Elyse Janna discussed past achievements of the club such as the car wash fundraiser. “We had a very successful car wash last semester, with a profit of $455, which is planned to be used for the upcoming field trips,” Janna said.

The History Club plans to visit the Holocaust Museum in Dallas around mid or late October. “There will be one big field trip or two small ones this semester,” she said.

Club members also plan to participate in the Fall Frolic on Wednesday, Oct. 18 with a stand called “Duck Tape Houdini,” and will also plan a Christmas fundraiser at a future meeting.

In addition to Elyse Janna as president, Yancy Flores serves as vice president for the Club. Professor Bill Offer is the faculty advisor.

The next meeting will be at 5 p.m., Monday, Sept. 25 in the Miller Administration Building. Everyone interested in joining the club is welcomed. Students can sign up at the next meeting but if they want to get any information before then, they can contact the President in the Panola fitness center Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings or stop by and visit with Professor Offer  at his office in Miller 1401.

Library exhibits Rolling Stones photographs

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 4:50pm

The Fay Allison Gallery in the M.P. Library is showcasing immortalized photographs by the Rolling Stone Magazine through October, 20. The gallery will open from 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Fridays, and 4-9 p.m. on Sundays. There is no charge to view the exhibit.

Through the exhibition’s 35 framed photographs, contact sheets, and original Rolling Stone magazine covers, Backstage Pass presents an intimate view of a crucial period of cultural transformation in American history. Visitors will go “backstage” to see how photographic coverage of events such as Woodstock and The Day on the Green have contributed to our collective cultural memory.

In the 1960s and 70s, Rolling Stone provided a national voice to the counter-culture movement, and gave readers unprecedented access to musicians before the days of personal branding. The exhibition Backstage Pass is a compilation of photographs by Baron Wolman and the Early Years of Rolling Stone. The exhibition presents the decades of 1960s and 1970s, picturing writers, filmmakers and musicians who represented a fantasy realm of the rock-n-roll lifestyle.

As chief photographer for the Rolling Stones, Baron Wolman features icons like Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, and Frank Zappa. These artists defined one of the most important eras in rock-n-roll history and were guided to the creation of the “rock star” persona, from concert, to cover, to icon.

This must-see exhibition overall, encourages the understanding of how images can become historical cultural symbols and the lens of one artist’s camera can capture and help define one of the most important eras in rock-n-roll history.

Learn to budget at Lunchbox Lecture

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 11:55am

The M.P. Baker Library will host speaker Jeremy Kelln, the Panola College campus representative for Herring Bank on Tuesday, Sept. 12, in the Frances B. Ross Ballroom.

Kelln’s presentation will discuss the importance of budgeting for financial success. In accordance with the “Money Smart” program designed by the FDIC, Kelln believes budgeting and planning for your financial future are key components in achieving financial freedom.

Within a budget is also a balance sheet to understand your financial position.  He will briefly discuss financial positions and how to figure out what your financial position is, why it’s important to understand this figure, and what steps to take once you know where you stand.

He will also discuss the reasons why building a relationship with a financial institution is important, and what things to look for and avoid when choosing a financial institution.  Most importantly, he will educate students about credit including how to build credit, some of the benefits of having good credit, what increases and decreases credit scores, and how often and where to check credit scores.

Teaching college-aged students to be mindful of their finances and financial decisions is particularly important to Kelln but he welcomes anyone interested in budgeting issues to the presentation. Worksheets for hands-on learning will be provided.

Kelln earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from West Texas A&M University. He has 16 years of experience in banking, financial advising, business development, and exercise and sports nutrition.  He has spent the past eight years developing a financial education resource for the future generations of the world.

The lecture is free and open to the public.  Doors will open at noon with the lecture beginning at 12:15 p.m. and lasting approximately 30 minutes. Lunch will be provided for the first 50 attendees arriving.  So that adequate seating may be provided, please RSVP.  For additional information please call 903-693-2052 or email


SGA returns to action

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 11:10am

The Panola College Student Government Association held its first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 7. SGA begins the new year under a new Constitution and with five returning officers: President Ryan Hamilton, Vice President Melissa Crooks, Secretary Julie Hernandez, Treasurer Alex Lavender, and Parliamentarian Andres Leon. SGA has one officer vacancy in the position of reporter.

During the assembly, SGA members voted to continue to hold weekly meetings at 4 p.m. each Thursday in the Murphy-Payne Community Room of the M.P. Baker Library. The September 14 meeting will be a round table session with the Calendar and Appropriations Committee to generate a schedule of events for the fall semester.

“The gathering was small, but the outlook for the semester is promising,” said Brian Naples, Panola College government professor and SGA faculty adviser. “All Panola College students are welcome to attend and participate in SGA.”

Panola Band members assist with summer camps

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 5:01pm

Panola College hosted two band camps in summer 2017, and participated in a third camp held at Elysian Fields High School. Five members of the Panola College Band braved the summer heat to help out. Ore City High School brought 90 band students and faculty to the college campus from July 24-27. Beckville High School brought 100 band students and staff for a camp running from July 31 through August 3.

“This summer has definitely been an active one for us,” said Dwaine Hubbard, Panola College Band Director. “These two high schools were preparing for football games and pep rallies, so we were grateful to have help from our talented college band members.”

Carrie Hudman, freshman from New Caney, and Derrick Wade Weaver, freshman from Beckville, taught band students during the Beckville camp. Sophomores Urias Quetzala, Montana Woodard, Savana Hanaway, and Dakota Brown worked as staff at Elysian Fields High School camp.

“All of these students are music majors at Panola College,” said Hubbard. “Working these camps helps them understand the challenges they will face as band directors. We are grateful to James Bogs at Beckville High School and Jeremy Hendrix at Elysian Fields for working with these great Panola College band students.”

Students get Microsoft Office for free

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 6:26pm

Microsoft is giving away free software to the students of Panola College.  Wait, free?  Yes, you heard that right, free is every college student’s favorite word.  Microsoft is sharing its 365-Office software free of charge to the students at Panola College.

Now, you may be wondering the difference is between Office 365 and Office 2016.  The answer is Office 365 includes the most current versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  This offer is good for the entire course of your studies at Panola College.  It grants you the additional option to install the software on 5 Macs, 5 PCs and 5 tablets including the Apple iPad. The OneDrive cloud services will allow you to sync all your devices together, making it easier than ever to access your homework.

If you want to Download Office 365 use these easy-to-follow steps:

  1. Visit
  2. Go to and click on the “Enter your school email address” option and enter your Panola email.
  3. Find the “Get started” option and click on it.
  4. Locate and click on the “I’m a student” option.
  5. Open another window or tab and check your Panola email for the verification code. Write down or copy the code.
  6. Go back to the previous window with the “Office 365 Education” section and enter your name and create a password. Be sure your password is memorable or copy it down somewhere else.  Type in or paste your verification code and click the “start” option.
  7. Optionally you can skip the “invite more people” page.
  8. If you want to install Office 2016 on a Desktop Computer or Laptop, use the “Install Office 2016” option. If not just click on whichever Office 365 online app you want to use.
  9. For smart phones visit the App Store or Marketplace and download Office 365.
  10. You will need to use your Office 365 password to access the software.
  11. Office 365 also offers some training and basic support.
  12. Microsoft Store Sales and Customer Support: 1-877-696-7786.




Fillies topple Brookhaven in home opener

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 4:26pm

In their first match back at Arthur Johnson Gymnasium, the Panola College Fillies took down Brookhaven College in 3 sets: 25-13, 25-11, and 25-13.

The trio of Kaitlyn Adams, Barbara Sabino, and Thaynara Godoi led offensively with 7 kills apiece, impressively only committing 1 hitting error between the three attackers. Setter Cayman Sutton dished out 13 assists while Molly Harris and Kinly Carter added 9 and 5, respectively. The Fillies were paced defensively by libero Camie Copeland’s 12 digs, with Rebecca Rabius, Jaqueline da Silva and Sutton all adding 5 each.

The Fillies will return to action at Brookhaven College Friday, against #3 Iowa Western at 9 a.m. The weekend tournament was originally scheduled as the San Jac Patriot Day Tournament, but the lingering effects of Hurricane Harvey along the Texas Gulf Coast, including San Jac’s hometown of Pasadena, led to the change of venue to Brookhaven.

The Fillies are scheduled to face Lee College, Hillsborough, and NCTC in the tournament.

Read more about the Fillies, including schedule, roster and stats, on the Panola College Volleyball page. Photos in this photo gallery are by Pony Express Photographer Lexie Dawson.

Cell phone use while driving becomes illegal Sept. 1

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 2:59pm

Texting or calling on a cell phone while driving in Texas becomes illegal Friday, Sept. 1. Drivers may talk if they are using hands-free devices, including Bluetooth systems. The new law doesn’t prohibit the use of GPS systems or music apps.

The Texas Legislature passed the new law in May 2017. This law promises to lower the number of car accidents caused by distracted drivers on their phones, and overall keep everyone on the roads safe.

“We follow state laws, and the new texting and driving law will be in effect on campus,” affirms Bryan Rickert, Chief, Panola College Police Department. Holding the phone while making a call is part of the prohibition and you could be stopped by law enforcement. Talking on cellular phones has been illegal in school zones in the past, but this new law extends the prohibition to all driving circumstances.

Earbuds will not be categorized as illegal, but, Chief Rickert says, it is better if they are not utilized.

Fines ranging from $25 to $99 will go into effect on September 1. Rickert states, “the DA or city judge will decide what the charge is.” However, fines can go up to $200.

Because it is common to see people talking and texting while driving around campus, Rickert’s recommendation is, “if you have to text, pull over and park somewhere instead.” The Panola Police Department will advise students of any changes to the provisions of the new law.

Panola College accepting Hurricane Harvey donations

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 9:31am

Panola College will collect donations for Hurricane Harvey victims through noon on Thursday, Aug. 31, for delivery to Houston and other affected areas this weekend, September 1-3.

People interested in donating items should drop them off at the Fitness Center Desk in the Matthews Student Center or to the Office of Institutional Advancement in the Miller Administration Building. Donations can also be dropped off at the Shelby Regional Training Center in Center until 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31.

Panola College donations will be delivered to Rehobeth Methodist Church, 126 CR 207 on Highway 59 North, on Friday. Rehobeth Church is serving as the local collection point for all community donations.

Requested items include: bottled water, canned and nonperishable food, garbage bags, paper cups and plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, blankets, washcloths and towels, pet supplies (food and snacks), baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers), children’s items (books, drawing, coloring books and crayons), first aid kits, bandages, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, combs, brushes, razors and shaving cream or gel, toilet tissue, and feminine hygiene products.

Other ways to help involve contacting organizations directly:

Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

This site is FEMA recommended and contains a list of numerous organizations.

Some of the largest groups working for Hurricane Harvey relief include:

Red Cross

Salvation Army

Greater Houston Community Foundation

Many East Texans are already in the affected areas with boats and other equipment to assist in rescues and recovery operations.

Fillies sweep Rose City Classic tourney

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 4:18pm

The Panola College Fillies opened their season at the Rose City Classic with a bang, taking down all 3 opponents in straight sets. The Fillies defeated North Central Texas College (25-21, 25-11, 25-13) in their first match of the season on Friday, Aug. 25. Sophomore right side Kaitlyn Adams and sophomore outside Jaqueline da Silva paced the offense with 6 kills apiece. Sophomore and freshman middle blockers Barbara Sabino and Daphinie Correa each chipped in 5. Sophomore setter Cayman Sutton racked up 13 assists and freshman setter Molly Harris added 9 in her debut. Correa also dominated the net, notching 5 block assists and 1 solo.

The Fillies returned Saturday for an early morning match against conference foe Navarro College. After fighting off 2 set points, Panola notched a 27-25 victory to take momentum before winning the next two sets 25-12, 25-21. Once again Kaitlyn Adams led offensively with 8 kills on 15 swings. Sophomore right side Melanie Casteel and Jaqueline da Silva added 7 apiece and Barbara Sabino notched 6. Cayman Sutton and Molly Harris dished out double-digit assists with 15 and 12 respectively. Defensively Correa and Sabino combined for 10 total blocks with half of those coming from solo blocks. Sophomore libero Camie Copeland anchored the floor with 10 digs, while freshman defensive specialist Hannah Ramirez and da Silva added 7 each.

Panola was able to showcase their depth in their final match of the day against Temple College, gaining key contributions from several players in a 25-10, 25-8, 25-14 victory. Sophomore right side Jasmine Sanchez pounded out 5 kills with freshman outside/setter Rebecca Rabius adding 4 of her own. Freshman middle blocker Thaynara Godoi, Melanie Casteel, and freshman outside Alyssa Lozoya chipped in 3 apiece. Sophomore setter Kinly Carter racked up 11 assists and Rabius added 5. Defensively, Hannah Ramirez notched 5 digs with Rabius and Lozoya picking up 4 of their own.

Panola College Volleyball returns to action Tuesday night, Aug. 29, in the team’s home opener against Brookhaven College at 6 p.m. in Arthur Johnson Gym.

Follow the team stats, see the schedule, and check out the team roster at the Panola College Athletics Volleyball Page.

Welcome Week activities announced

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 11:51am

Student Activities Coordinator Jody Harris announced a week of fun activities for Panola College Students. His office will host video games in the Student Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 28.

Students can play archery games and bubble soccer from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday. These activities will occur in the Quad.

On Wednesday, students may play giant games from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Center.

Thursday’s events will include a tailgate party, water pong and flip cup from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Center.

Friday, students are invited to play cards and dominoes from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.


Welcome to Panola! Move-In Day Photo Gallery

Sat, 08/26/2017 - 11:51am

Residence hall students started arriving at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, and we welcomed by Panola College faculty, staff and fellow students, along with volunteers from the community. They signed in, had their student ID photos made, checked their schedules, paid their tuition and fees, received their room keys and started moving in.

Official move-in continues through 2 p.m. on Saturday. Classes begin Monday, Aug. 28.