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  • Jan 14 2014

    Personal Trainer Kenny Ragsdale Gets You Ripped


    Eboni Bryson | Staff Writer

    As we steer into the New Year, some students are looking for ways to shed those Winter Break pounds. In an interview with N.C. State personal trainer Kenny Ragsdale, the Nubian Message gathered insight into his views on fitness and his advice for those that want to face those New Year’s gym resolutions head on.

    NM: How did you become a physical trainer at NC State?

    KR: I started out personal training when I was a sophomore in high school. I really enjoyed it and realized that I could go somewhere with it.  My junior year in college I decided to go for the NCSF Personal Trainer Certification that N.C. State offered.  Shortly after acquiring it I began working as a personal/group fitness trainer for the university.  With this certification I’m able to train people here at State as well as any other fitness facility. NM: How did you become so invested in fitness?KR: Fitness is a passion to me. Around the age of 10 my dad inspired me when I used to watch him workout.  He saw my interest and worked with me on different beginner lifts and exercises.  I started reading article after article to gain as much knowledge as possible to help educate myself and others.  I started out bodybuilding, but I then transitioned to CrossFit which involves functional movements working multiple muscle groups each session.

    NM: Generally in the African American culture, we get many of our health habits from our older generations.  How do you feel about this?  

    KR: Diabetes and obesity are growing problems in America, but combatting these issues comes back to self discipline.  It all starts at home, with eating right and exercising.  We tend to have bad nutritional habits, which lead to conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure running rampant in our culture. I believe that self discipline is a major part of fitness and that its 70% nutrition and 30% fitness. Nutrition plays a critical role in trying to get fit.

    Ragsdale, a senior at N.C. State works as a personal trainer on campus.

    Ragsdale, a senior at N.C. State works as a personal trainer on campus.

    NM: What do you believe schools can do to help combat these growing health issues?  KR: School districts need to see what works and what doesn’t. Most importantly, the parents and teachers need to emphasize to children the importance of a healthy diet and being active.  They can do this best by living it out themselves first and being an example. Teach kids that eating your vegetables and getting your exercise is more fun and beneficial than just trying to get a good grade in health class and slide by.

    NM: What suggestions do you have for those looking to get fit in the new year?

    KR: 1) Set a fitness goal (i.e. lose pound, build muscle, increase endurance)

    2) Make or find a nutritional plan to fuel your body (i.e. lean meats, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, and no sugar)

    3) Make or find a workout regimen that best aligns with your fitness goal(s).

    4) Keep a journal of each day’s meal consumption and workout session.

    5) Have a friend or support group join for motivation and encouragement.

    6) Believe in yourself!


    Watch Kenny’s short video of easy workouts below!





  • Jan 14 2014

    President Obama Joins the Pack Today


    Staff Report

    President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit N.C. State Wednesday to speak about the economy at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Complex.

    President Obama in a visit to N.C. State in 2011. Taken from Nubian Message archive.

    This visit is expected to be far different from his first because his visit in 2011 was to campaign for reelection.  The J.W. Isenhour Tennis Complex on West Campus is also a significantly smaller venue than Reynolds Coliseum where the President spoke in 2011.

    Today’s visit also comes just two weeks before his annual State of the Union address.  It is speculated that Obama’s remarks on the economy at N.C. State will preview some of the message he is planning to share before the Nation.

    Many students stood in line for hours on Monday for the 500 tickets available to students. 375 tickets were first distributed outside of Reynolds Coliseum and the remaining 125 were available at Wolf Ridge Apartments on Centennial Campus. Hundreds of students crowed in both lines, all hoping to receive a ticket but many left empty handed.

    “We are honored to welcome President Obama and look forward to demonstrating how N.C. State is a pre-eminent research enterprise that excels in driving economic growth and educating the workforce of the future,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson in a statement Saturday.






  • P.J. Hairston was released from UNC and is eligible to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.
    Jan 14 2014

    #FreePJMovement Comes to an End


    Alfred Anderson | Staff Writer

    Just months before the start of the 2013-2014 college basketball season, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suspended junior P.J. Hairston, its leading scorer after multiple misconduct violations. On Dec. 20, the university announced that it would not seek reinstatement from the NCAA for Hairston, ultimately ending his career as a Tarheel, driving the nail in the coffin of the #FreePJ movement.

    P.J. Hairston was released from UNC and is eligible to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

    P.J. Hairston was released from UNC and is eligible to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

    This decision came after Hairston was cited for violations on three separate occasions. On May 13, he was cited for speeding in a rented 2012 Camaro linked to a convicted felon with ties to a number of local collegiate athletes. On June 5, Hairston was arrested and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving without a license, also driving a rented car with links to the same felon. On July 28, Hairston was pulled over for driving 93 mph in 65 mph zone. Following the third violation, Hairston was suspended from the UNC basketball team indefinitely.

    Throughout the fall semester, NCAA investigations loomed large to determine whether or not Hairston’s acquisition of rental cars served as improper benefits. Thus, Hairston remained suspended and did not play in the Tarheels’ season opener. During the team’s 7-3 run, the #FreePJ movement started by Hairston supporters made headlines. A photo went viral of a billboard located along I-85 in Durham that displayed the slogan #FreePJ. Former Tarheel and current player for the Milwaukee Bucks John Henson took to Instagram to show his support, posting a picture of himself wearing a shirt with the NCAA logo on the front, replaced with the word “SCAM.” North Carolina fans were also seen invading a game hosted by rival Duke against Gardner-Webb with hand made signs that read “Free P.J.”

    It has since been learned that, as a result of this decision, Hairston has decided to take online classes at UNC, submitting paper work to play in the NBA’s developmental league leading up to the draft this June.  “I am excited to continue to purse my degree at UNC while also pursuing my dream of becoming a professional basketball player,” said Hairston.

    This #FreePJ billboard was spotted on I-85 in Durham, after Hairston was suspended from UNC's basketball team.

    This #FreePJ billboard was spotted on I-85 in Durham, after Hairston was suspended from UNC’s basketball team.

    Although, his days at UNC are done, his future remains bright. Many of those in the NBA believe that Hairston could play his way into getting selected in the first round of the draft, if he has a strong showing in the developmental league. However, only time will tell if he has learned from his mistakes and is able to take full advantage of future opportunities.

  • Scene from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, drawn by Travis Gatling.
    Jan 14 2014

    Every Young Man Needs an Uncle Phil


    Dane McMillan | Staff Writer

    America lost its favorite TV uncle this past New Year’s Eve. James LaRue Avery, best known for his role as Philip Banks on The Fresh Prince Bel-Air, died of complications of heart surgery. He was 68.

    “The world has lost a truly special man. I am very saddened to say that James Avery has passed. Even though he played my father on TV, he was a wonderful father figure to me in life. He will be deeply missed.” Alfonso Ribiero, known for playing Carlton Banks on the show, first broke the news on his Facebook page.

    Actor Will Smith also went to Facebook to pay his condolences. “Some of my greatest lessons in acting, living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery. Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace.”

    Smith’s sentiment is true; every young man does need an Uncle Phil. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a show that we all grew up with. Whether we realize it or not, Uncle Phil definitely served as an extra father figure for viewers as we watched him raise Will and Carlton. Avery was involved with plenty of other projects, such as NYPD Blue and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    Scene from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, drawn by Travis Gatling.

    Scene from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, drawn by Travis Gatling.

    He will always be remembered as Uncle Phil – a big man with an imposing presence who made you listen when he spoke. He was a lawyer who worked his way up to become a Superior Court judge, but always had time to be there for his kids, including Will, who he treated like his own biological son. Uncle Phil garnered respect from everyone around him, and personified what a father should be; as a Black man, this proved truly powerful for African-American audiences. It’s only fitting that TV Guide named him as one of the greatest TV dads of all-time.

    Fresh Prince was one of my favorite shows growing up, so hearing that James Avery died was especially sad for me. You never really appreciate someone until they’re gone, and now when I watch the show I realize how influential Uncle Phil’s character was. He represented what a successful Black man looked like without ever accepting the label of a “sellout.” We should all look up to Uncle Phil. He was an amazing man, father, and iconic character. James Avery left behind an everlasting legacy. Rest in peace.