Twins Everywhere

Double Take
Mia (left) and Mai (right) Degollado are one of the many sets of identical twins on the El Dorado campus. “We have reversed in our personalities. Mai is more talkative than shy and I am more shy than talkative,” Mia says.

Students speak about living with a twin while in college

by Madison Pierce | Sports Editor

When people are younger they tend to wish they had a twin to be able to constantly hang out with. As they grow up and mature they outgrow this phase. Here at Butler Community College in El Dorado, there are multiple sets of twins. For example, the student body includes fraternal twins Mai (Maya) and Mia (Me-huh) Degollado from Ulysses.

“We told ourselves that when we get to college we are going to do it different, as in not dressing the same as much,” Mia says. “We have two of everything in clothes.”

As some people ask, are twin close together? Do they do everything together?

One thing that makes Mai and Mia this different than other twins is their closeness to one another.

“We have the same friends and the same interests,” Mia says.

The Degollado twins played basketball together and both enjoy reading. If they start a TV show on Netflix together, they can’t watch it without one another.

“If we weren’t going to the same college I’d probably call her a lot,” Mia says. “We are not used to being separated. We’ve always been together. Since we always do everything together, it would just feel and be different. We are four hours away from home right now and we are homesick. If it was just me at Butler I would be even more homesick.”

An identical set of twins, Ahtziri and Neilany Roetzer, are from Dodge City.

Ahtziri goes to Butler Community College, while her twin, Neilany, goes to Washburn University.

“Other than our parents and a bathroom … we don’t share anything,” Ahtziri says. “We didn’t even share a room when we were younger.”

People tend to think that all twins are really close. Well actually no, they are not. Although Mia and Mai are close, that is not the case for Ahtziri and Neilany.

“I get along better with my older brother then my twin sister. But I can’t live without my sister. I’d do anything for her,” Ahtziri says.

Ahtziri and her twin went their separate ways in college.

“We speak daily. Not every minute of every day, but at least once or twice a day,” Ahtzizi says.

They didn’t necessarily want to go to college together. Growing up also means growing apart and wanting to get into different things.

“We wanted to separate. I didn’t want to go to college in the first place. I wanted to join the service,” Ahtziri says.

Ahtziri is going to join the Air Force after she gets done with her two years here at Butler Community College.


The Disney Dream

Making Friends
Spencer Bouzek and Tyler Richards pose with characters from “Inside Out.” | photo courtesy of Tyler Richards

Butler student shares what it is like to be a part of the Disney College Program and work at Disney World

by Mia Rodriquez | Web Developer

Most children dream of going to a Disney Park, seeing all of their favorite characters right in front of them. Some even wish of working at the “happiest place in the world” when they are older. Some people can and that is with the Disney College program. This year, a sophomore at Butler Community College, Tyler Richards, was accepted into the program. Richards works with Disney World in Florida while still attending Butler to continue his Elementary Education and special needs degree.

What was the application/interview process like? Were there
multiple interviews?
The application process is split into three different parts. The first part is just the initial application which consists of your basic information, your school and your intended program, and then what length of program you want and whether or not you want to work in Disneyland in California or Disney World in Florida. After the application you can be selected to take a web based interview. This is where you are asked several questions about your personality, work ethic, social habits, and about what kind of person you are in general. The catch to this part is that each question has a time limit and if you take too long you miss out on the question. In this part they are mainly looking to see how consistent you are with your answers and if you would possibly make a good candidate for the program. If you pass the web interview, you are selected to take place in a phone interview with a Disney recruiter. They will ask you a variety of different questions that they will expect you to have some kind of answer for. These can last anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes. This was definitely the most nerve-wracking part for me because this is the part that could and would get me a job at Disney World. The recruiters are extremely nice and caring and will answer any questions you have. After the phone interview you play the waiting game to see if you have been accepted.

How did they assign jobs? Where do you work?
They assign jobs based on several different things. One is the list of preferences you put when you apply, the second is based on questions from your phone interview, and third is basically what they need the most help in. For me I get to call Hollywood Studios my home. My role is Merchandise and I work park arrival. That means I do stroller, wheelchair and electric scooter rentals. I also get to do street vending and package delivery. Merchandise is a special role because it is universally trained so that means that I could actually pick up shifts at any other merchandise locations on property. One of my goals is to work in all four of the parks.

What is a typical day?

Hot and humid. It really just depends on work schedules and everything else. If I work in the mornings then I get ready, get on a bus and head to work. If I get off at a decent time then I might meet some friends at the parks or go to different things around Orlando. But for the most part, a day is usually play then work or work then play. Other days I will have anywhere from a 10-12 hour shift, so then I usually just head home and call it a day.

Where do you live? What is the living situation like?

I live in an apartment provided by the college program. I live in a four bedroom, eight person apartment. Which may seem like a lot but our place is big enough that it is hard to tell that eight people live here. Our apartment comes furnished with almost everything you would need. The rent for our apartment is pulled each week from our paychecks.

How do the classes work?

So you have a couple options when it comes to classes. You can take online classes through your school or university or you can also take classes that are provided by Disney. The Disney classes can relate to different areas in the company or different business and can even be transferred back to your school for credit. If you take a Disney class you will have class one day a week and that will be one of your days off from work. If you are just taking classes through your school online, you can request to have a specific day off each week that you would like to use for [school] work and they will make sure that you have that day off each week. The classes are a great way to network with so many different people who run their own business or can help you get your foot in the door to many possibilities.

Hurricane Irma came along and how was working through that?
How was preparing for a hurricane?
The week leading up to the hurricane was so full of speculation. Nobody was quite sure what exactly Irma was going to do and what its projected path was. We were offered to sign up to be selected to work a shift that would work through the storm either in the parks or at resorts assisting our guests. I did not get to work the shift, but there was still plenty to do to get ready. It was not until a couple days before the storm was expected to make landfall when we got the message that for the first time in history that Walt Disney World would be shut down for two consecutive days in preparation for the storm. We were all sent home to get prepared. The housing complex had us on a curfew/lockdown those two days for our safety. The Disney College Program team did an amazing job keeping us updated on what was going on and what we needed to do in case things were to get serious. We ended up just spending the weekend with a bunch of people camping out in the living rooms watching movies and having a great time, and I can officially say that I have gone outside in hurricane winds and ran around in the rain. While we did not exactly get the worst of the storm we did get very strong winds and very heavy rain. Most of the damages that we received were lots of downed trees and branches. After the two days of being closed we were able to return to work and get the guests out of their
resorts and back to having fun in the parks.

Miss Unstoppable

Miss Kansas, Krystian Fish, snaps a photo with country artist Thomas Rhett at the Miss America competition. “[Meeting Thomas Rhett] was so much fun,”Fish says. “I went up to him right after the show and said ‘Hey my sister is going to be so upset cause she is a huge fan. Can we send her a selfie?'” | photo courtesy of Krystian Fish

Former Butler student, Krystian Fish, reflects on her journey competing in this year’s Miss America pageant

by Tatum Sturdivant | Editor-in-chief

Some young girls dream about becoming Miss America for years while playing dress up with their friends and believing that they can achieve anything they desire. As time goes on and the thoughts of doubt and lack of support and encouragement set in, these girls lose faith in ever being able to win, yet alone being able to compete.

For this year’s Miss Kansas, Krystian Fish, this is not the case.

Back when Fish was eight years old she was in a show with a woman she later found out was Miss Kansas 1990, Kimberly Dugger. That year for Halloween, Fish dressed up as Miss Kansas in order to be just like Dugger. It was not until Fish’s first time competing for Miss Kansas when she realized that she truly wanted to become Miss Kansas.

It was her senior year of high school that started her journey in competing when she won first runner-up in the teen category in Miss Kansas, becoming Miss Lyon County in 2014. The following year she competed in a different local, winning the title Miss Kingman County. This year, Fish has finally achieved her dream of becoming Miss Kansas.

“I am actually very happy that it took a few times before I won because I think a lot of girls think that if they do not win the first time then they are never going to win,” Fish says in a phone interview. “I think part of it is being a living example and saying ‘That is not true. Look at what I did.’”

Competing for Miss Kansas is not an easy competition, let alone competing for Miss America. One thing that has always been important to Fish, but also helped during the whole competing process is her faith.

“[Competing for Miss Kansas] helped make my faith stronger,” Fish says.

Fish recalls about a month before competing for Miss Kansas and a few days before orientation, she was praying and doing her devotions when she felt God calling her to focus on being a Proverbs 31 woman.

“That was my focus,” Fish says. “I thought ‘I am going to stop focusing on being Miss Kansas. I am going to stop crazy training and making that the only thing I think about.’ I did a lot of reading that passage and praying over it.”

A few days later at the Miss Kansas Lottery, where everyone competing gets their contestant order, Fish happened to get the number 31.

“I knew right then and there that God was … in control,” Fish says. “That there was no reason to even worry. There was just something in me that said ‘Yep. It is going to work. It is going to be good.’”

Be Unstoppable: Disability, Not Definition

While Fish’s relationship with Christ has always been a huge part of her life, so have people with disabilities. Her unconditional love for people with disabilities is what helped Fish come up with her platform, Be Unstoppable: Disability, Not Definiton.

“I knew I wanted to have a disability platform right from the get-go,” Fish says. “The cool thing was that the whole be unstoppable thing actually came to me as I was doing my paperwork for Miss Kingman County. There is a part where you write down the title of your platform and I had not thought about it yet. All of a sudden I just typed, ‘Be Unstoppable: Disability, Not Definiton.’ I felt like that was the best way that I could put what I wanted to do into words.”

Fish’s main desire with Be Unstoppable is to let people with disabilities understand that their disability does not define them; that they are unstoppable. While her main focus was people with disabilities, her platform has also impacted people without disabilities as well.

“It took me a while to understand that it could reach that community, [people without disabilities] too,” Fish says. “The reality is that we have all been labeled by something. We have all felt like we could not do something. We have all been told we are too different. I think that the message of removing that label and thinking of ourselves as unstoppable is really something everyone wanted to hear and needs to hear.”

Competing in Miss America

Whenever people think about competing in a pageant, some tend to think of it as being nothing but seriousness, but according to Fish, competing for Miss America was just like

“One night they rented out [a] pier,” Fish said. “They closed it down for all of the Miss America girls. We got pizza, tacos, and hamburgers. They said ‘We just want you to have fun. Go play.’”

Fish recalled hanging out with Miss Oklahoma, and Miss District of Columbia that night. The three of them rode every ride and Miss Oklahoma cried on them all. Some other memories Fish talked about were taking a selfie with Thomas Rhett and building strong relationships with the other girls there.

Lessons Learned

People grow and things change, especially from high school transitioning into the adult world. Fish explained how she struggled a lot in high school with a horrible self-esteem. In high school, Fish kept it together and always tried to keep a smile on her face.

After struggling so much in high school with her self-esteem then realizing who she has become after competing, one thing that Fish has noticed throughout competing is how it has changed her as a person.

“My first being at Miss Kansas what I pulled out of it was realizing [that] I was worth it,” Fish says. “Realizing I had the opportunity to be a role model and I was good enough to be a role model. That was something I never really understood.”

Fish also goes into detail about how the Miss Kansas organization is the most empowering organization to be a part of. They teach people how to carry themselves, how to be confident in who they are and how to understand who they are and that they are enough.

“Whether you win Miss Kansas, or you never win, every woman that walks out of here knows how to stand a little taller,” Fish says. “They understand their worth is more than a crown or some earthly accomplishment.”

A dynamic duo

Instructors John and Alexis Michael watch as second year student Allison Detrick prepares a dish called rouladen (braised German beef rolls) in the Cuisines of Northern Europe class. photo by Emily Beckman

John and Alexis Michael help prepare students for the hospitality and culinary arts industry

by Emily Beckman

From England to the United States, Executive Chef John Michael has continued his longtime passion for the culinary arts industry.

He recalls beginning to work at a place in England called La Patisserie at age 12. At 14 he moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he was unable to work in the industry until age 16.

Eventually, in his early 20s, he wound up at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. There, he would earn his associate’s and bachelor’s degrees and meet his future wife, a Wichita native.

After marrying in 2006, John and Alexis Michael moved to Sonoma, California: California Wine County. He worked in Napa and she worked in Sonoma, both in the wine industry.

In 2009, after having their first daughter, they moved to Wichita.

Now, John is the chair of Butler’s Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department, and Alexis is an adjunct instructor for the department.

They both enjoy working with students.

“Like most teachers, I love seeing students discover their passion for the subject matter,” Alexis writes in an email interview. “College is a great place to find your tribe and geek-out over a subject. I love witnessing that happen with food and hospitality.”

John says he talks to his students when he feels like he’s having a bad day.

“The things so much of them are overcoming to be here; to follow a dream, it’s humbling. It’s really amazing,” he says.

John notes that culinary arts classes aren’t just an “easy A.”

“The culinary program really exists for students who take it very seriously and are interested in pursuing a career in culinary arts,” he says. “It’s not just playing in the kitchen.”

Q&A with Dr. Vietti

Jennifer Callaway (left) introduces former Butler Community College President Dr. Jacqueline Vietti (right) at a Connect and Caffeinate event held in February. photo by Nadine Armstrong

Former president Jackie vietti shares her story at a connect & caffeinate event

by Emily Beckman

Jacqueline Vietti was the first female president of Butler Community College, serving from 1995 to 2012: a total of 17 years.

During her time as president, a number of expansion projects took place. These projects include The Hubbard Welcome Center, The Champions Training Center, The BG Products Veterans Sports Complex in collaboration with the city and USD 490 and more. In addition, while she was at Butler, a team of experts built the online learning program.

Vietti spoke at a Connect and Caffeinate event in February, sharing her story with members and business people of the El Dorado community.

What was the most rewarding aspect of serving as the president of BCC?

Oh, that’s such an easy answer … the people. The students, the faculty and staff, the people in the community. I wouldn’t have traded working with any of them for anything. It’s the people who make any organization and there really are none better than the people of Butler and those that support Butler. Butler has such incredibly talented faculty who are unwaveringly dedicated to students’ success. Everyone in support services roles are equally dedicated to students’ success. And we have such strong believers in the broader community in the difference that Butler makes that it was just a joy to work with those individuals.

What was the biggest challenge you faced at Butler?

My motto has always been ‘dream big and start small.’ I can’t think of any challenge we weren’t willing to take on. You have the usual challenge of limited resources, but we always found a way to do what needed to be done to serve our students and our community. I’m at a loss to pinpoint a huge challenge. It isn’t to say that it was always easy; it wasn’t, but we had such a can-do attitude that we had ways to get things done; things that made a difference.

What is your advice for women who want to pursue a career in leadership?

First of all, believe they can. Believe in their own self-worth and value, find mentors that will give them sound advice, and acquire the skills and knowledge they need to pursue particular positions. And last, always, always, always operate with integrity and authenticity. [And] to be open to opportunities and be willing to step outside their comfort zones. It’s okay to risk, it’s even okay to fail, what’s not okay is not trying.

What are your connections to Butler now?

I follow the great things it is continuing to do. I follow it on facebook, I get the foundation newsletter, I follow sports on facebook.

I was on the Butler Foundation for a term. The foundation is the private fundraising arm of the college. It has a foundation board of directors apart from the board of trustees, it is focused on raising funds for scholarships and program support and helping to meet other needs of the college that are beyond the college’s operating budget.

So now my association is less formal, but I will always, always be the staunchest of advocates for Butler. I am remembered for saying ‘you will never really leave Butler,’ and I will never really leave Butler.

Why did you want to speak at the connect and caffeinate event?

I am a firm believer in giving back, and Butler Community College and the community of El Dorado have been so very good to me that when I was asked if I would be willing to share my story it was that opportunity for me to give back a little to those entities that have enriched my life.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I think in closing I just want to express my deepest and lasting gratitude for the opportunity to work beside people of the caliber at Butler, and I just encourage those people to continue to do their difference-making work.