Faces of Birmingham

Birmingham lays claim to some trendy coffee shops, and Octane Coffee is no exception. Have you ever wondered exactly who the people are behind the counter serving this delightful coffee? They have intriguing stories to tell, and barista/mixologist Trenton Bell, has one of the finest.

Bell graduated from Samford’s Beeson Divinity School back in May of this year. “I felt a sense of calling to go [to seminary]; I felt internally that it was the right next step for me after college,” said Bell. He received his Master’s in Divinity and now awaits the Lord’s next step for his life.

Throughout his life, Bell has always had two main loves: Jesus and music. He felt the Lord calling him to combine those passions for the Kingdom of God and thus, the band Multis Project was born. Multis is Latin for many, and Bell chose this name because the purpose of Multis Project is to promote diversity within music.

Multis Project was somewhat born out of necessity. Bell and his friend, Louie Free, were driving back from a conference they had been leading worship at and were in line for another gig, but there was one problem, the next conference wanted the two guys to bring a band with them. “We put together a group of folks, and tried to put together as much of a diverse team as possible,” Bell said. “We have some hip-hop, gospel, folk and pop all mixed in together. We want to push the envelope and reach out to and unify diverse groups of people.” The band has been doing just that ever since their first performance back in January.

Bell constantly faces the battle of balancing being a full time barista and trying to continue to pursue his passion for making music. However, he does not really worry about it too much. “I trust that we [Multis Project] will go where we need to be at the proper time. We have patience in trusting the Lord, but we are persistently pursuing opportunities,” he said.

So if you need a delicious Carmelatto, or want to book a cutting edge band, look no farther than Octane’s very own, Trenton Bell.

Senior Spotlights

Ann Martin Foley

Major: Graphic DesignAnnMartinFoley


  1. What is the biggest thing you will take away from your time here at Samford?


I learned so many things during my time at Samford about my major, life, and myself. The experiences I had here made me into a better person and prepared me for my future career. The biggest thing I would take away from my time here are the relationships I’ve made. Whether it is with a fellow classmate or a professor who becomes a great mentor, these are relationships I wouldn’t change for the world.


  1. What is the best piece of advice you would you give to undergraduates?


If I had to give advice to undergraduates, I would say that it’s ok to do things on your own. It’s always fun to do things with your friends, but it’s also important to do an activity on your own. It allows you to focus on yourself and after college everyone starts to go do their own things and won’t be just down the hall from you.


  1. What are your plans after for graduation?


My immediate plans after graduation is to move back home for the time being while job searching. I hope to soon be working as a graphic designer in a big city like New York or Boston.



Hannah HollandHannahHolland

Major: Religion


  1. What is the biggest thing you will take away from your time here at Samford?


The biggest thing that I will take away from my time at Samford is the growth and maturation that occurred in many areas of my life.  I matured spiritually so much through so many mentors and friends’ counsel and encouragement and through so many opportunities to study the Bible and worship with other believers.  I matured academically as I learned how to really study and research and through the professors who I was able to glean so much knowledge from.  I matured practically through being independent, making decisions, and facing tough circumstances.


  1. What is the best piece of advice you would give to undergraduates?


The best piece of advice that I would give to undergraduates would be to make the most of the you have time at Samford as well as in the city of Birmingham by intentionally fostering and deepening relationships – relationships with people who are wiser and can mentor and guide you, relationships with peers who can build you up and hold you accountable, and relationships with those who you can pour into, mentor, and disciple.


  1. What are your plans for after graduation?


After graduation I am getting married and moving to Wilmore, Kentucky to pursue a Master of Divinity at Asbury Theological Seminary.


Happy Birthday 110th birthday Dr. Seuss!

  1. His real name isn’t Dr. Seuss
    – it’s Theodor Geisel!
  1. He went to Dartmoth College
    There he worked on the school’s humor magazine, the Jack o Lantern, and was later kicked off for drinking in his dorm with friends. He then started submitting his works of writing under the pseudonym – Seuss.
  1. He isn’t really a Dr.
    He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth began adding it to his pen name.
  1. He wrote 45 children’s books during his career!
  1. He was rejected a lot!
    His first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected 27 times before being published in 1937.
  1. He won several major awards, including: two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, the Pulitzer Price, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and a Peabody Award.
  1. He wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a dare.
    His publisher bet that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 different words.
  1. The cat in the hat was written to help children learn how to read after Life magazine wrote an article about illiteracy among school children
  1. Although he spent most of his life writing for children, he never had any of his own
  1. He died on September 14, 1991 from cancerseuss

Republican candidates are headed to Birmingham

Republican presidential candidates have been invited to participate in a forum at Samford University on Saturday Feb. 27 hosted by Yellowhammer News

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are the only two candidates that have been confirmed so far. Other candidates are expected to announce if they will be participating in the next few days.

Each candidate will take the stage individually.  Cliff Sims, Chief Executive Officer of Yellowhammer will interview each participant during the forum.

The event will be held in Samford’s Wright Center. Tickets for the event sold out soon after it was announced. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and people must be at their seats by 2:30 p.m. The forum will begin at 3 p.m.

Superstation WYDE will broadcast the Forum live on radio station 101.1 FM.

A Backstage Glimpse

Music. Spotlights. Deafening crowds. Cameras rolling.

To the fans that fill the auditorium, this life of entertaining in the music industry is one of pure mystery. But to Callie Phelps, daughter of gospel singer David Phelps, this life is normal.

“I know it’s not normal at all, but it’s normal to me because it’s just all I’ve known,” she explained.

Her father has been a musician since before she was born.

“I grew up on the road, took my naps in equipment boxes and behind the product table, and spent most birthdays at Chuck-E-Cheese in random towns for a really long time,” she said.

Callie Phelps is a Samford junior English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. Like the vast majority of her family—cousins included—her gifts are creatively and musically inclined.

She enjoys writing short stories and poetry, and has recently been nurturing a growing interest in interior design. To accompany these talents is her love for music, which she not only shares with the congregation some Sundays at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, but also with the world when she sings backup for her dad on his tours.

“It’s helped me become comfortable standing on stage without an instrument other than my voice.”

Phelps said she first began singing backup for her dad when her Aunt Sherri started losing her six-year battle with cancer in the fall of 2012.

In the two months preceding their aunt’s death, Phelps and her sister Maggie Beth Phelps, along with family friend Charlotte Richy, were prepped by David Phelps to stand in for his sister.

Sherri Proctor passed away in September of 2012, “and after that,” Phelps said, “we just kind of had to step up, and kept going. It’s a job,” she said.

Her father’s tours typically revolve around the seasons, the biggest ones taking place in winter and spring.

“The way he has it set up is really nice. He only tours on the weekends, and with some extension into the beginning or end of the week,” Phelps said, further relaying some variance when her father travels with the Gaither Vocal Band.

She described “a typical growing up and still typical week” for her and her siblings as one in which her dad would be home Monday through Thursday, and then gone for the weekend on tour.

“And so we homeschooled,” she said, “so we could hang out during the week and do school on the weekends when he was gone.”

As may be expected for a family of touring musicians, the Phelps family has grown especially close to each other.

Phelps considers each band member, regardless of biological relation, to be family. They often celebrate Thanksgiving together, and during Christmastime each year, host a Christmas concert on the family’s property—an old dairy farm converted into a musician’s dream studio and performance hall in Culleoka, Tennessee.

Now as autumn leaves begin to blanket the earth in preparation for the chilly days ahead, and semester finals ebb ever nearer, Phelps prepares once more for the busiest tour season.

“The world doesn’t change or stop just because you’re out on the road; if anything, it gets harder.”

Juggling academic demands with professional music responsibilities—including responsibilities toward fans, who are “constantly watching”, is not an easy task.

But as Phelps put it, “It’s a job.” And to her, it’s normal.

Cross Country Ready to Roll at Conference

Cool, crisp air. Color-changing leaves. Pumpkin everything.

All signs point to the delayed arrival of fall in central Alabama, and for the Samford men’s and women’s cross country teams that means one thing: championship season is here.

After logging hundreds of miles, enduring tedious workouts and persevering through the wear-and-tear of a long season, the time has finally come to reap the benefits of a training cycle that began nearly five months ago.

Scheduled for the morning of Oct. 31 on the Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C., the 2015 Southern Conference Cross Country Championships represent the season’s pinnacle.

“It’s always our No. 1 focus,” first-year head coach Kevin Ondrasek said. “We’ll have a couple individuals who will progress past that, and we’ll train for that, but as a unit we’re trying to put it together at conference first.”

Both teams will face a talented field when they toe the starting line for the season-defining race, as the hometown Paladins enter the meet as two-time defending champions for both the men and women.









In fact, the Furman men enter the meet with a national ranking, earning recognition in the latest poll as the No. 10 team in the country.

But that doesn’t mean the Bulldogs will be running with decreased expectations, especially on the men’s side. After tying their highest finish position in program history by placing fourth at the 2014 conference meet, the Samford men are focused on reaching new heights.

“I think if we’re not on the podium we’ve failed, or I failed, either way,” Ondrasek said. “How far up on to the podium is up to them. I don’t think Furman is necessarily in reach, just being realistic, but I’ve seen some crazy things happen. Cross country’s a crazy sport, you never know.”

Individually, the men will be led by star sophomore Arsène Guillorel, the 2015 SoCon outdoor track and field 5,000-meter champion who recently notched a 19-second cross country personal best, cruising to a fourth-place finish at Friday’s hypercompetitive Crimson Classic.

Severely affected by graduation and hampered by a mix of injury and illness, the Samford women will enter the conference meet with a slightly different approach. Though they’ll arrive in Greenville with an expectation of reaching the podium as a team, Ondrasek is placing an elevated importance on each runner’s individual performance.

DSC02621 DSC02617







“They’re working on just finding some consistency, and just kind of celebrating improving as individuals,” Ondrasek said. “If we come out feeling good about what we’ve done as individuals, I’ll be happy with the team performance.”

The sophomore duo of Karisa Nelson and Emma Garner will set the pace for the Bulldog women, as each will look to improve upon their performances from a year ago. Both Nelson and Garner earned spots on the 2014 All-SoCon Freshman Team after placing 12th and 24th, respectively.

As the Samford men and women continue to make their final preparations for the championship meet, ensuring full health across the board, Ondrasek said he’s been pleased by each group’s collective improvement over the course of the season, fulfilling the vision established on day one.

“I mean we’ve had little hiccups here and there, but they’ve progressed along beautifully,” Ondrasek said. “They’re right where I hoped they would be.”

The Green House

Cool winds and hot apple cider filled the Birmingham home of six recent Samford graduates as they opened their doors to the community for a free house concert last Saturday night.

Located in the heart of the city, their home was reportedly built in 1904 and continues to stand strong with a welcoming front porch and 2 antebellum white columns.

Each room in the house is unique in it’s own way, from fireplaces in bedrooms, windows that cover the span of an entire wall, to antique handle nobs and original tiled sunrooms – there is nothing simple about this home.

The concert brought in a large number of Samford’s community kicking the off with student openers Danny Delgado and Rob Johnson. Couches were filled and all surfaces of the home were covered to hear the great tunes. They opened with familiar cover songs and had the whole house hand clapping and foot stomping along.

Processed with VSCOcam with g1 preset
Photo taken by Liz Bacon.

With a break to refill mugs of hot apple cider, the Nashville based band Arcadian Wild, put on a one of a kind show for the crowd. Sarah Wood, Isaac Horn, Everett Davis, and Lincoln Mick, make up the four-member band, all met at Lipscomb University in 2013 and released their first EP, “The Colorado” and their first album “The Arcadian Wild”.

Their style of music is a one if a kind combination between a guitar, ukulele, harmonica, cello, and mandolin. To say the least, this is an eclectic band with some powerful sounds. You can check out their music on iTunes under Arcadian Wild as well as their band page, thearcadianwild.com.

Birmingham Art Crawl



A recap of photos from our experience at Birmingham’s Art Crawl in the Historical District of Birmingham, Alabama.



Volleyball has 7-6 record

I caught up with junior Journalism and Mass Communication major, Erin Bognar to see how the season is going so far. She said: “So far we have learned a lot in the season about our team and it has helped us know how hard we need to work. We have had ups and downs but our team knows we can still do big things.”

Bogar remains positive and said, “As long as we keep working hard and improving upon things we are in a good place. Not everything has been perfect so far, but we all still believe when we put everything together we can win the Socon championship. The ultimate goal is always to win another conference Championship and as long as we keep working hard I believe we will win.”


Senior Night for Soccer

As the regular season continues, the ladies of the women’s soccer team will celebrate their annual Senior Night on Oct. 16. 

Senior Night is usually one of the more sentimental games of the season for the whole team, and this year is no exception. The tight-knit team will feel the loss of the three key seniors what are leaving the team after graduation.

Soccer heads, team and poster 8.15
Senior Kinsey Sessions
Soccer heads, team and poster 8.15
Senior Alissa Hansen
Hallie Georgi
Senior Hallie Georgi










“Senior night is always a great night to honor the girls who have dedicated so much of their four years at Samford to soccer,” said sophomore Virginia McNeill. “It’ll be sad to see them go at the end of this year, as they have made such a great impact on this program. We’ll definitely miss their leadership.”

However, emotions won’t get in the way of the team’s focus and determination. They’ve prepared well for every conference game so far, including next Friday’s contest.

“Conference games can always go either way so we have to show up every time,” said McNeill. “The southern conference is extremely competitive, so in every game we have to work hard and play to our own strengths no matter who we’re playing.”

Soccer v. Chattanooga 10.13Soccer v. S. AL 8.15

The bulldogs will face the Virginia Military Institute at home, and are feeling confident due to a season of many competitive, non-conference opponents.

“I feel that, overall, the season has gone great,” said sophomore Kaitlyn Orman. “Although we are not undefeated, our tough non-conference schedule really helped build character in us, that I think will help us during conference play and into the NCAA tournament.”

The team is currently 8-4-0 overall, and 3-0-0 within the conference. The game next Friday against Chattanooga will be just the seventh conference game for the team so far.

Hallie Georgi vs. Wake Forest              Soccer v. Chattanooga 10.13

Photos courtesy of Samford University Athletics.