Snakes invade Missouri S&T

St. Pat’s Snake Invasion: The Game
Go back in time with this special St. Pat’s game! A nest of snakes has made its way from the springs, streams, swamps and glades of the Ozarks to the highlands of Rolla. Playing as St. Pat, strike down 107 snakes using only your shillelagh and skill. Defeat them all before time runs out and receive a special bonus score. Can you save campus and banish the snakes from Missouri S&T? Help make this St. Pat’s the Best Ever!



A (Very Brief) History of Snake Invasions at S&T
According to legend, or Dr. Lance Haynes, fourth faculty advisor of St. Pat’s, Snake Invasion was started in 1912 by the junior class as a way to “initiate” freshmen.

Freshmen must use giant sticks called shillelaghs to club (plastic) snakes to death and bite their heads off.

This being the 108th Best Ever, each participating student is expected to club at least one snake 108 times consecutively. If they fail to do so, they have to start over.

Until they complete the ritual rite of passage, participating students must carry around their shillelaghs. So, don’t be surprised to see stripped and customized tree trunks propped up outside of buildings and classrooms on campus during the snake invasion, which starts Monday, March 7.

Now, on with the bashing!

Seizing the opportunity


Chemical engineering major Ahlam Issa moved to St. Louis from Tanzania when she was 10 years old. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Ahlam Issa isn’t the kind of person who lets opportunities slip by. Born in Tanzania, Issa left the country at the tender age of 10 years old to live in St. Louis. She didn’t speak any English when she arrived but overcame that and other obstacles to graduate as valedictorian from Hazelwood East High School.

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Pulling pork – The BBQ Club story


The Missouri S&T BBQ Club serves pulled pork sandwiches to campus. Photos by B.A. Rupert

The Missouri S&T BBQ Club recognizes all styles of barbecue, but their specialty is pulled pork. “There are as many styles and opinions about good barbecue as there are people,” says Kevin Brady, the club’s advisor. “Pulled pork is made from shoulder roasts, sauced with tangy southern sauce, and served on the bun with slaw.”

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Helping Joplin


Sean Brady, Missouri S&T student. Photo by B.A. Rupert


Brady clears debris in Joplin. Photo provided

A father and son from Camdenton made three trips to twister-torn Joplin in the wake of the deadly EF-5 tornado that struck on May 22, 2011. Ric Brady and son Sean reached out to victims one at a time and used heavy equipment to touch the lives of dozens.
Sean Brady, a Camdenton High School grad who just finished his freshman year at Missouri S&T, couldn’t prepare himself for what he saw when he arrived in Joplin on the Monday morning after the Sunday night tornado plowed through the city. Brady noticed significant damage as his truck and trailer drew closer to the tornado touchdown site, but he was blown away by the indescribable damage along Rangeline Street.

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Like an aquatic canary in a coal mine?


Dr. Yue-Wern Huang, Missouri S&T associate professor of biology, works with students to conduct hellbender research. Photos by B.A. Rupert


An Ozark Hellbender housed at the Saint Louis Zoo.


Yue-Wern Huang, an associate professor of biology at Missouri S&T, is trying to figure out where all of the hellbenders went. The hellbender is one of the largest salamanders in the world. They once thrived in the pristine streams of the Ozarks and Appalachia. Now they’re almost extinct.

It’s increasingly hard to find them and catch them, but Huang has been taking blood samples from hellbenders for nine years to see if their chemistry is changing over time. His research is funded by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Saint Louis Zoo, and the Missouri Water Resources Center.

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