Student From South Korea Pursues Her Passion / Emily Kate Ford

Not many people can claim to be business owners by the time they are 24. Yet, this is the case for Hwiwon An, otherwise known as Bella An, who came to the U.S. to study abroad.  Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Bella is a student at Sookmyung Women’s University studying business. At Mississippi College, she is studying marketing. “I love my major,” Bella said.  “I have a strong interest in the business field.” This makes it no surprise that she has already begun to build her own business.  

Bella An owns and operates a business called Online Mall. On this website, she sells items such as phone cases, iPad covers, Airpods cases, mousepads, and lamps. The story of how the online business came to be is quite inspiring. Bella was initially supposed to attend Mississippi College in the fall of 2020, but unfortunately, those plans were changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “During that year in Korea, I was a little confused about my life,” Bella said. “I had some time to think about my life and what I should do, so I just decided to explore and experience a lot of things.” 

Her exploration led her to a YouTube video produced by another college student who started his own business. After watching the video, Bella had the desire to try it for herself. She created the website and formed her own business. While attending MC as a full-time student, Bella does not have much time to manage the website herself; therefore her sister, who is still in South Korea, has been helping her. In the future, Bella hopes to grow her business. After she graduates, she plans to expand her Online Mall and hopefully open a physical store.   

Bella’s family has played a huge role in who she has become both as a businesswoman and as a follower of Christ. Not only have they encouraged her to pursue her passion for business and marketing, but also to continue to grow in her faith. “My grandfather is a pastor in South Korea and has definitely been my Christian mentor,” she explained. “My parents also have had a strong impact and influence on me and my faith.” 

Though Bella is a Christian, that is not the main reason she chose to attend Mississippi College. When deciding where to go, Bella looked at a list of schools that were offered through her exchange program. She then read a report on MC from a student named Yunkyoung Lee, or Yun, who attended MC through an exchange program in 2019. Bella was impressed with the report. “It said that MC had many good students and that the people were nice,” she said. “If I were to go there, I would get to experience the real American culture, so that is why I chose here.”  Bella and her fellow South Korean exchange student Minseo, who also chose MC because of Yun’s report, had the opportunity to meet with Yun in person and talk about the university. Bella explained that Yun played a major role in her choosing to come to MC.  

Besides running her business, Bella also enjoys other activities. “I like riding my bike in Seoul along the Han River,” she said. “It is so beautiful.”  Bella also spends her time dancing, cooking, and traveling. She has been to numerous places including Japan and Taiwan, but she says that she has always wanted to come to America, so she is thankful for the opportunity to be at MC.    

Though Bella is only here at MC for the fall 2021 semester, she has already made an impact on many. By being involved in student organizations, she has met many people and made long lasting friendships. “Bella has been such a blessing to me during her time here at MC,” senior Bailey Wright said. “She is so much fun to be around and always makes me laugh. I am so thankful that we get to be friends during her short time here.”  

What are you most looking forward to this semester?

MacKenzie Ricks – Sophomore 

“Finding new ways to maintain a sense of community.”

Dani Henderson – Sophomore

“Becoming a better artist.”

Cate Stennett – Freshman

“Making new friends!”

Nile Tran – Senior

“I’m just waiting for my refund check to come in.”

Colleen Conti

“Graduation!”

Question: What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Will Fisher-” Every year my family has ugly Christmas sweater cookie competition. I’m a 4x champion.”

Ben Stanzell- “Making Mommy’s cookies!”

Ishmon Foster:” Me and my mom sit on the couch and read the Christmas story!” 

Grace Jennings- “I go over to my grandmommy’s house and make deviled eggs.”

Question: “Would you rather go to a haunted house or pumpkin patch?”

Question: “Would you rather go to a haunted house or pumpkin patch?”

Will McCarty 

“A haunted house because pumpkin patches are boring. Haunted houses are entertainment.” 

Mary Evelyn McPherson 

“A pumpkin patch because they are family-oriented and the purpose is to make you happy, not scared.”

Mary Katherine Martin 

“Haunted house because pumpkin patches remind me of little kids.”

Lauren Harris 

“Pumpkin patch because of cute pics with the girls. Put 4 s’s on the end of girls.” 

Abigail Vega 

“Pumpkin patch because they are for the daytime when it’s beautiful and enjoyable.”

What was your favorite quarantine hobby?

Hannah Moore:  “My favorite quarantine hobby was teaching my dog tricks! He never learned to roll over….”

Evan Phillips: “My favorite quarantine hobby was making vlogs and posting them to my Instagram @_evan_phillips. You could say I’m quirky.” 

Caleb Baldwin: “My favorite quarantine hobby was fishing. After hours of fishing out of a kayak, I would get bored, jump out of my kayak, and try to fish with my bare hands! I never caught anything, but it was fun.” 

Kent Morris: “A hobby I loved during quarantine involved a dance with death! I wrestled alligators in the swamp – just kidding. Geaux Tigers!” 

From Hollywood to A.E Wood, Kendall Platt’s Star Keeps Getting Brighter. By Corey Rholdon, Sports Editor

The Mississippi College volleyball team has a new phenom from Hollywood. Freshman Kendall Platt has made an immediate impact for the Lady Choctaws, breaking a school record with 23 kills against Southern Arkansas and being the first MC volleyball player to be named GSC Freshmen of the Week since rejoining the GSC in 2014.

Platt has been vital part of Mississippi College’s success this season, and Lady Choctaws Head Coach Shawna Laurendine believes the best has yet to come. “I believe that record will be broken by her again. Kendall has done a great job for us; she is our 6th rotation outside, so she does not come off the floor,” said Laurendine.

Coach Laurendine knows how talented of a freshmen Platt is and tries to use her strengths to the best of her advantage. “Kendall brings a lot to us, she reads the court well, reads her opponents well, and she is a good size block for an outside hitter, which is rare” Laurendine said.

It’s not just the coaches who are impressed by Platt’s talents but the players also trust her to make plays. “In our offense, Kendall gets a lot of swings, and it’s because our setters trust her. We trust that she can put the ball away, and she has proven that she can do so,” said Laurendine.

Platt is from Anaheim, Calif., but the hospitality from Mississippi College has made her feel right at home. “It has definitely has been a big switch. Southern California is completely different from Mississippi, but it has been a lot of fun getting to know people here and getting to experience everything Mississippi has to offer. Everyone is so nice, caring and seems really genuine,” Platt said.

Southern California, unlike Mississippi, does not have rain often, and Platt says that she has enjoyed the rain the most. “The one big thing for me is the weather. It never rains in Southern California, so I absolutely love the rain. I ran through it the other day. I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of fun,” said Platt.

Platt has been making it rain on the court, leading the team with 137 kills, including 23 against Southern Arkansas that broke a school record. “Kendall was on fire that day. The two matches before that, I believe she tied the school record with 20 kills. Her attempts doubled anybody else’s just because we keep feeding her the ball. She was in a different place and very in-tune that day” said Laurendine.

Coach Laurendine is just as impressed by Platt’s play off the court as on. “She is pretty low-maintenance. Kendall is a kid that comes to practice, goes to the cafeteria, and goes to class. She hangs out in her room or with her teammates. Kendall does not have to be doing something all the time. She is pretty chill,” Laurendine said.

Mississippi College will continue to need Platt to have outstanding performances, as GSC season is starting to heat up. The team is currently 5-6, and plays the number 10 team in the country, West Florida, this Friday in Clinton.

 

Strong Out the Gates By: Damon Wright

There is just something about spring time that gets everybody in a good mood. Whether it be the changing of the weather, the exciting feeling of spring break, or even all the midterms we will all do great on (okay, maybe not those). One thing is for certain though: Choctaw spring sports have started, and they have started hot. The baseball team is currently 10-2, the softball team is currently on a two-game winning streak, and the men’s and women’s tennis teams are off to 4-2 and 7-0 respectively.

 

The tennis team’s strong start can be attributed to the strong play of senior leaders on the teams, strong recruiting classes, and improvements from both 2017 squads. On the men’s side, senior captain Sanders Barrick talks about the mental fortitude of the team that has carried them throughout this hot start: “It’s more mentally, we have a bunch of seniors on our team; we have the skills and the seniors and just mentally being prepared and going out on the court and thinking we can win the match every time we are out there is a big thing for us,” said Barrick.

 

The GSC is strong in tennis, holding three nationally ranked teams in West Florida (#1), Valdosta State (#5), and Auburn-Montgomery (#22), but Barrick’s expectations and goals remain high: “We have a great conference in tennis and I think making it to the semifinals or finals in the conference would be a great achievement, and finishing third would be perfect … I think if we are third in the region we can make it to regionals.” Barrick, one of seven seniors on the team, has set selfless goals for himself and looks to leave behind an unforgettable legacy: “I just want to be a good leader for my team and I only play doubles so just winning every doubles match and getting that point for my team is a big goal for me … just making it to regionals would be a big stepping stone or even being ranked would be great legacy to leave on the tennis program,” said Barrick.

 

The women’s tennis team is off to an incredible 7-0 start to the season, including two wins over conference foes West Georgia and West Alabama. The Lady Choctaws have not only won, but relatively dominated their opponents, beating four teams by 9-0. Senior Brenna Keller commented on the team’s strong start to the season: “Our work ethic this season and practices on and off court has been a lot better and we have recruited a couple of new girls for this season and their added level of play has definitely helped increase our line up in general and we are all excited and confident and our first few wins just added confidence,” said Keller.

 

There are very few missteps for the Lady Choctaws, but Keller harkened on one small improvement that she would like to see across the team: “Comradery on our team, I think we are super close but we need to work on our cheering off court and working with our teammates … making sure every one is pumped up during matches and maybe getting a little more excited during the match,” Keller said.

 

Though the team is off to such a hot start, Keller knows that it is important to not get complacent, especially as conference play begins: “The work ethic off court is most important, we can’t let ourselves slack off, we have to keep the confidence and work ethic up, and keep everything up in practice and hopefully relay that to wins on court,” said Keller.

 

This year’s women’s tennis team boasts a bevy of talent, including five seniors who have made large strides since their first season at MC. Keller knows this strong bond and chemistry makes things on the court a whole lot easier for the team, especially with her doubles partner, Anna Marie Kimball: “We are both from Louisiana, so we knew each other a little before this. She is super fun to play with and is always pumped up for our matches and very consistent … we are all pretty tightknit; we go out to eat a lot, hang out, and go to movies and on the court, we just want each other to be successful and that really builds confidence,” The growth of the team from day one has been evident, and Keller believes she, along with the senior class, have left a legacy that can be built upon for the future: “I feel like we have grown as players and people and I feel like we would just like to leave a team that continues to get stronger and I would like to see them win just more and more,” Keller said.

 

It all starts from the top when it comes to both tennis teams. Coach Boteler, who has been at the helm for the Choctaws for twenty-one years, is respected by both squads and leaves a lasting impact on all his players: “Coach Boteler is definitely one of the greatest guys I have ever met in my life … he is the nicest coach I have ever met, probably the nicest coach on the campus; he is so understanding and has his priorities … if anybody has any issues, he is the first to step up and help … he has also helped a lot of people spiritually and overall he has had a great impact on everybody on this team,” says Keller.

 

Men’s captain Sanders Barrick also adds a little about Boteler: “He is the nicest man you will ever meet … he is just like a father or brother to everyone and is everything you need …. I remember walking into his office the first day and him hugging me and treating me especially kind and wanting to know who I was, and he does that to every player that walks in here.”

Both men’s and women’s teams hosted West Alabama last Wednesday. The men fell short to West Alabama, 4-5, while the women’s team extended their streak to seven wins by beating the Lions, 6-4. Both teams look to jump up in the rankings as conference play begins to ramp up.