STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Lipscomb’s own superhero — Juan Oliva

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Lipscomb’s own superhero — Juan Oliva

Imagine only having a 50 percent chance of survival and moving to an entirely new country within the first couple years of your life. These are just two things Lipscomb student Juan Oliva had to deal with when he was born. Oliva was born five months premature in Guatemala City, Guatemala. “The doctors told us it was 50/50 — the next day he can stay alive, or he can die,” Oliva’s dad, Juan Oliva Sr. said. When Oliva was born, his lungs were stuck together, and he weighed less than three pounds. “At that time, they were five kids born in the same situation; there was just one dose of medicine for that,” Oliva Sr. said. “He was the one at that time that had more possibilities to live, so they gave it to him.” Five months after Oliva’s birth, his parents noticed he was having problems sitting and turning. “He just used to stay still, looking straight. He couldn’t turn or do anything like that,” Oliva Sr. said. That’s when Oliva’s parents decided to take him to a doctor in Guatemala. The doctor told his parents that he has Cerebral Palsy, a disease that would require him to walk around with a walker everywhere he goes. The Olivas said they then decided that it would be best to move to America, where their son could have the best facilities to help with his disability. But Oliva said life  in the United States wasn’t perfect for him. “Having a disability, you always had to deal with types of insults like getting called octopus or people saying the wheels on...
Alejandro Manzaneres starts new season with Lipscomb tennis as assistant coach

Alejandro Manzaneres starts new season with Lipscomb tennis as assistant coach

If you’ve been to a men’s tennis match in the past four seasons, you may have heard the crowd chanting “Manza!” Lipscomb’s men’s tennis recruited Alejandro Manzanares, the No. 1 player in Venezuela’s 18U division, back in the spring semester of 2015. Throughout his tennis career as a Bison, he has achieved multiple ASUN titles as well as finished every year with a positive individual record. Manzanares is currently a senior in his fifth spring semester. He anticipates on graduating this upcoming May. Due to NCAA rules, he is unable to play on the team this season since he has already played his four seasons of eligibility. However, head coach Geoff Hernandez offered Manzanares a position as the new assistant coach this season. “I think Alejandro obviously had a high IQ as a tennis player,” Hernandez said. “I knew that coaching was going to be a natural thing for him, and it’s honestly something that I feel like he might do with the rest of his life. On the court, Hernandez said Manzanares was known to have a winner’s mentality, smart play decisions and calm mannerisms. It was only a matter of time before he transferred those qualities over to coaching. “I think as he got organized with his academics in the fall, it was the right time for him to come into the spring, and he has had an immediate impact,” Hernandez said. Ironically, before Manzanares was offered the position, he was actually considering asking Hernandez himself if he could volunteer as the assistant coach. But Hernandez beat him to it, and Manzanares was not surprised that the opportunity presented...
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Peytan Porter jumping into Nashville music scene

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Peytan Porter jumping into Nashville music scene

Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini both came from Lipscomb in recent years, and Lipscomb student Peytan Porter is making plans to follow in their footsteps. Porter started her singing career at the age of 12, but she said it wasn’t actually something she wanted to do at the time. She only wrote songs about how her mom was mean for giving her chores. “I didn’t take it seriously until at a church camp, and my mom was having to sing and act at the same time,” Porter recalled. “She was terrible. Then she was like, ‘Well then you do it,’ and I said ‘Noo!’ They ended up giving me a microphone behind the curtain. So I sang, behind the stage, and our music director came back and was like, ‘You’re a singer; you are doing this.’” Ever since then, Porter has been focusing on her songwriting, including her job as a full-time staff writer at Sea Gayle Music and doing a songwriting internship. She said she has always dreamed of becoming apart of the Nashville music scene, and even called it her “Disney World vacation” when she was able to visit at fourteen. “I would not be at Lipscomb if it was not in Nashville,” Porter said. “I chose to come here when I was young. My mom was like. ‘You can go on a cruise to Cozumel, or you can go to Nashville.’ My sister went on the cruise, and I came to Nashville.” Porter said she chose Lipscomb over Belmont’s music program because she liked how Lipscomb’s program felt like a small, Christian community. She is no longer...