In the News

NOTE: For older stories, go to College of Sciences News Archive

April 6, 2015

Texas A&M's Rosenthal to Speak at April 9 Biological Sciences Seminar

Dr. Gil Rosenthal, professor in the Department of Biology at Texas A&M University, will present “Mate choice and its consequences: insights from natural hybrid zones” at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Dr. Carlson, of the Department of Philosophy at SHSU, is hosting this seminar.

April 1, 2015

Second Annual SHACS Future Tech Conference Coming Soon

In a fast-paced world, the technology that surrounds us is constantly changing. For those who are looking to learn about these changes, the Second Annual Sam Houston Association of Computer Scientists Future Tech Conference might present the perfect opportunity. 

The conference will be held April 10-11 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.  Those who attend will have the opportunity to observe faculty research and company presentations about new technology.


Printable Flyer

March 31, 2015

UT Medical School's Christie to Present at April 2 Seminar

Dr. Peter Christie, from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, will speak about his work on“Biological and Structural Diversity of Bacterial Type IV Secretion Systems” at the Department of Biological Sciences' weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, 2015. Dr. Choudhary is hosting this seminar.

March 23, 2015

Rosen to Speak at March 26 Biological Sciences Seminar

Dr. Jeffrey Rosen, from Baylor School of Medicine, will discuss his work on Wnt signaling and fibroblast growth factor signaling in the mammary gland at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Dr. Harper is hosting this seminar.

March 16, 2015

Rice's Miller to Present at March 19 Seminar

Dr. Tom Miller, Godwin Assistant Professor of BioSciences at Rice University, will speak on “Ecological interactions of plants through the lens of demography” at the Department of Biological Sciences' weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2015. Dr. Randle is hosting this seminar.

March 12, 2015

Chapman Quoted in Houston Chronicle Article on Upcoming "Pi Day"

Dr. Scott Chapman, of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was among the experts quoted in lighthearted Houston Chronicle article today on what has been dubbed "Pi Day" - Saturday, March 14 (or 3.14.15), which evokes the first digits (3.1415) in the mathematical figure Pi. Read the article here.

February 27, 2015

Zientek and Onwuegbuzie Co-Author Most Read Article in Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning Journal

Dr. Linda Zientek, associate professor of mathematics education in SHSU’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, co-authored an article last year in the journal Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning that was was selected as the journal’s Most Read article of 2014. The article, “Differences of Mentoring Experiences across Grade Span Among Principals, Mentors, and Mentees", also featured Dr. Anthony Onwuegbuzie, professor in SHSU’s College of Education, as a co-author.

More information can be found at the Taylor & Francis Online website, in the Teaching and Teacher Education section.

Congratulations to Dr. Zientek and Dr. Onwuegbuzie!

February 27, 2015

Mathematics & Statistics' Garcia Earns Distinguished University Teaching Award From Texas Section of Mathematical Association of America (MAA)

Dr. Rebecca Garcia, associate professor and program coordinator for mathematics in SHSU's Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was awarded the Distinguished College and University Teaching of Mathematics Award for 2015 by the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Dr. Garcia is the first SHSU faculty member to earn this prestigious award for teaching mathematics. More information about this award can be found at the Texas Section's website. Congratulations to Dr. Garcia on this important recognition!

February 23, 2015

Lafferty to Speak at February 26 Biological Sciences Seminar

Dr. Kevin Lafferty, from the University of California-Santa Barbara, will present “Parasites and environmental change” at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 26, 2015. Dr. Buck is hosting this seminar.

February 16, 2015

Michigan State's Gibbs to Present at February 19 Seminar

Dr. Jason Gibbs, faculty member in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University, will speak on “The social evolution, systematics and historical biogeography of sweat bees” at the Department of Biological Sciences' weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 19, 2015. Dr. Pascarella is hosting this seminar.

February 16, 2015

Call for Nominations for SHSU College of Sciences Awards

The Sam Houston State University College of Sciences recognizes significant achievements in research, teaching, and service by members of our college, both faculty and students. The College of Sciences Awards & Recognition Committee invites your nominations by March 6, 2015, for the following awards:

Nominations can be made by any faculty member or department chair in the College of Sciences, and staff members are welcome to make nominations for the Faculty Excellence in Service Award. Student nominations and self nominations will not be accepted. Nominees will be contacted to supply additional documentation. The Awards & Recognition Committee will weigh all of the information and make recommendations to the Dean, who will notify the winners near the end of the spring semester and make a public announcement at the College of Sciences Fall Faculty Meeting.

The award descriptions and criteria are given at This page also contains the Awards & Recognition Committee Policies & Procedures.

To submit your nominations, please email Chris Randle ( with the nominee's name and the award for which you are making the nomination.

February 9, 2015

Ostrofsky to Speak at February 12 Biological Sciences Seminar

Dr. Milt Ostrofsky, from Allegheny College, will present “Predicting Internal Phosphorus Loading in Stratified Lakes” at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 12, 2015. Dr. Wozniak is hosting this seminar.

February 5, 2015

Texas A&M's Brown to Present at Upcoming Physics Colloquium

Dr. Peter Brown, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University, will speak on Calibrating Exploding Stars for Precision Cosmology at the SHSU Department of Physics Colloquium on Thursday, February 12 at 3:30 P.M. in Room 209 in the Farrington Building. Dr. Brown's abstract for the talk states: "Type Ia supernovae are one kind of "standard candle" used to measure distances and the expansion rate of the universe. With the hundreds or thousands of supernovae used in current analyses, the systematic errors now dominate over the statistical errors. Many of these systematics are poorly understood but are expected to have strong signatures at ultraviolet wavelengths. I am using the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Explorer to observe supernovae in the ultraviolet. I will show constraints on progenitor systems and extinction derived from Swift ultraviolet observations. I will also discuss the effects expected from metallicity, asymmetry, and explosion differences. I will also show recently discovered evidence for a possible change with redshift in the supernova Ia population."

February 4, 2015

Park to Present at February 5 Biological Sciences Seminar

Dr. Jae-Il Park, from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, will present “Manipulating Wnt Signaling in Stem Cells and Cancer” at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 5, 2015. Dr. Seeling is hosting this seminar; please contact her at if you would like to meet with Dr. Park. 

January 26, 2015

January 29 Physics Colloquium To Explore Cutting-Edge Research on Matter-Wave Solitons

(courtesy of Today@Sam)

Rice University post-doctoral research associate Jason Nguyen will discuss his research on matter-wave solitons and the discoveries his team made in a study on Thursday (Jan. 29) at the Physics Department Colloquium. The colloquium presentation will begin at 3 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 209.

In the study, titled “Collisions of Matter-Wave Solitons,” Nguyen and his team found that when dealing with ultracold matter, results may produce an important new idea that was previously unknown to the physics community.

Solitons are non-dispersive waves that have been observed in many wave phenomena, such as the motion of water waves in narrow canals and light pulses in optical fibers. When Nguyen and his team began their study, they noticed that while solitons are supposed to pass through one another, some seemed to bounce off of one another.

“We are proud to host these conferences, because they provide an opportunity for students and faculty to continue to learn more and stay up to date with what is new in the physics community,” said Barry Friedman, professor of physics at SHSU. “If you’re interested in physics, this is a chance to hear cutting-edge information from the best group of physicists in the country.”

January 26, 2015

Siddall to Speak at January 29 Biological Sciences Seminar

Dr. Mark Siddall, of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, will speak on “Advanced genome and imaging technology totally sucks: lessons from leeches”  at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 29, 2015. Dr. Cook is hosting this seminar.

January 22, 2015

Wolfram Research's Schaudt to Speak at Physics Colloquium

Mr. Troy Schaudt of Wolfram Research, Inc., will present "Mathematica 10 in Education and Research" at the upcoming Physics Department Colloquium on Monday, February 9, 2015, to be held from 3:30-4:30 PM in the Lowman Student Center, Room 315. This talk will illustrate capabilities in Mathematica 10 and other Wolfram technologies that are directly applicable for use in teaching and research on campus. Topics will include:

  • Enter calculations in everyday English, or using the flexible Wolfram Language

  • Visualize data, functions, surfaces, and more in 2D or 3D

  • Store and share documents locally or in the Wolfram Cloud
  • Use the Predictive Interface to get suggestions for the next useful calculation or function options

  • Access trillions of bits of on-demand data

  • Use semantic import to enrich your data using Wolfram curated data

  • Easily turn static examples into mouse-driven, dynamic applications

  • Access 10,000 free course-ready applications

  • Utilize the Wolfram Language's wide scope of built-in functions, or create your own
  • Get deep support for specialized areas including machine learning, time series, image processing, parallelization, and control systems, with no add-ons required

Current users will benefit from seeing the many improvements and new features of Mathematica 10 but prior knowledge of Mathematica is not required.

January 21, 2015

University of North Texas' Roberts to Present at January 22 Seminar

Dr. Aaron Roberts, faculty member at the University of North Texas, will speak on his work involving the effects of heavy metals on fish at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 22, 2015. Dr. Harper, of the Department of Biological Sciences, is hosting this seminar.

January 20, 2015

James' Harvard Presentation Available on YouTube

Professor Reneé James, of the SHSU Department of Physics, was recently invited by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to give a public talk about her book, "Science Unshackled." The presentation was well-received and was made to a packed house. A video of Dr. James' presentation is below.

January 9, 2015

SHSU Students Attend American Astronomical Society Meeting in Seattle With Physics Department's Miller

Physics faculty member Dr. Scott Miller recently accompanied two SHSU students, Travis Hites (physics major) and Katrina Reeves (astronomy lab instructor), to the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, Washington on January 5-8, 2015, where they presented posters on research they completed with Dr. Miller regarding the NASA-funded ASSET summer workshops presented over the past two years by Dr. Renee James and Dr. Miller.

Reeves and Hites

Travis Hites and Katrina Reeves with their posters at the AAS meeting in Seattle


Katrina Reeves discussing her poster with another AAS conference attendee

November 18, 2014

Texas A&M's Webb to Speak on Searching for Dark Matter at Physics Department Colloquium on November 21

Professor Robert C. Webb, of Texas A&M University, will present "Searching for Dark Matter with the LUX and LZ detectors at the Sanford Underground Research Facility," at the Department of Physics Colloquium on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 2 p.m. in Room 105 in the Farrington Building at SHSU. All are welcome to attend. From Dr. Webb's abstract: "The Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment, a dual phase xenon time projection chamber, has been operated underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility since February 2013 and the next generation dark matter detector based on this same technology (LZ) is in the planning stages. I will review the case for dark matter and report on the first WIMP search dataset from LUX, taken during the period from April to August 2013. I will then go on to outline the near and long term prospects for the discovery of dark matter in the coming decade."

Printable flyer

November 17, 2014

University of Texas' Wallingford to Present at November 20 Seminar

Dr. John Wallingford, professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, will speak on his work in Xenopus as a model organism at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 20, 2014. Dr. Seeling, of the Department of Biological Sciences, is hosting this seminar.

November 11, 2014

Ubelaker Keynote Speaker at Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists (TABA) Annual Meeting November 14-15

Dr. Douglas Ubelaker, from the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, will be the keynote speaker for the Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists (TABA) annual meeting to be hosted by Dr. Patrick Lewis and Dr. Monte Thies in the Department of Biological Sciences, Dr. Joan Bytheway in the College of Criminal Justice, and Dr. Maria Botero in the Department of Psychology and Philosophy. The meeting will be held this Friday evening (November 14) and Saturday (November 15). Dr. Ubelaker will give a second seminar at 6 p.m. on Friday evening entitled “The Use of Modern Radiocarbon to Assess the Birth and Death Dates of Human Remains”, which will be held in LDB 213. 

Anyone interested in attending is welcome to come to Dr. Ubelaker's talk. Attached is a program for the TABA conference. All are welcome to attend. Registration for the meeting is $5 for students and $20 for non-students and faculty.

November 11, 2014

Smithsonian Institution's Ubelaker to Present at November 13 Biological Sciences Seminar

Dr. Douglas Ubelaker, of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, will speak on "Forensic Cases in Contemporary Perspective" at the Department of Biological Science's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2014. Dr. Lewis and Dr. Thies will host the event.

October 21, 2014

Wingfield to Deliver E.O. Wiley Lecture at October 23 Biological Sciences Seminar

The Department of Biological Sciences' weekly seminar will be the E.O. Wiley lecture, titled "Putting the brakes on reproduction: implications for biomedicine, conservation and global climate change?." to be given by Dr. John Wingfield, of the University of California-Davis and the National Science Foundation, on Thursday, October 23. Please note that this seminar will take place at 7 p.m. instead of 4 p.m., and will be held in the Ron & Linda Mafrige Auditorium in the Smith-Hutson Business Administration Building.

October 20, 2014

Department of Physics Offers Special Partial Eclipse Viewing October 23

The SHSU Department of Physics invites you to a special eclipse viewing atop the SHSU parking garage (1730 Avenue I) on Thursday, 23 October 2014. The moon will partially eclipse the Sun that evening, with "first contact" beginning at 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time. The eclipse will be at its best around 6 p.m., when a little over a third of the Sun will be blocked. Viewing will continue until sunset, but the eclipse will continue for western viewers until and will end about 6:42 p.m. CDT.

To view the eclipse, viewers need to wear special eye protection, which the Physics Department will provide. Also on hand will be special solar telescopes. Do NOT try to look at the eclipse without proper filters.

October 1, 2014

Texas A&M University's Kerr to Appear at Department of Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium October 8

David Kerr, professor of mathematics in Texas A&M University's Department of Mathematics, will present "Entropy Inside Out" at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics' Colloquium on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at 2:00 p.m, in Room 401 in the Lee Drain Building. Dr. Kerr will discuss a number of developments in the application of the concept of entropy in various contexts since the late 1950s, and will describe how the passage from single transformations to actions of general amenable and sofic groups marks a shift in applications away from geometry and smooth dynamics and more toward noncommutative harmonic analysis and operator algebras.

September 29, 2014

Biological Sciences' Gaillard to Present at October 2 Seminar

Dr. Anne Gaillard, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and associate dean for graduate programs and research for SHSU's College of Sciences, will speak on "Programmed Cell Death in Chlamydomonas" at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 2, 2014. 

September 22, 2014

Biological Sciences' Primm to Speak at September 25 Departmental Seminar

Dr. Todd Primm, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will speak on "Collateral Damage: How Antibiotics Affect the Normal Microbiome" at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 25, 2014. 

September 16, 2014

Waitt to Speak on Wildflower Center at September 18 Biological Sciences Seminar

Dr. Damon Waitt, from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, will present "The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It’s not just about Bluebonnets, Bunnies and Butterflies" at the Department of Biological Sciences' weekly seminar on Thursday, September 18, 2014. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The seminar will be hosted by the Texas Invasive Species Institute.

September 10, 2014

Biological Sciences' Harper to Present at September 11 Seminar

Dr. James Harper, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will speak on non-traditional model organisms in aging research at the department's weekly seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 11, 2014. 

September 3, 2014

College of Sciences Undergraduate Research Program


Dean John Pascarella has launched a program to support undergraduate research among the seven departmental units in the College of Sciences. This innovative program provides awards to successful student applicants that will help defray the expenses associated with conducting scholarly research as well as presenting research at professional conferences. Students will gain valuable experience throughout the research process – from developing an idea with a faculty mentor to preparing an academic proposal and budget, conducting research, and presenting the outcomes to members of the academic community.

Full-time students with strong academic records and who are currently enrolled as majors in the College of Sciences are encouraged to work with a faculty mentor in their program to prepare and submit an application for review. Applications in this program are being accepted now through October 17, 2014. A separate application review will also occur for travel and research projects in spring 2015. 

September 2, 2014

Excerpt of Book by Physics' Reneé James Published in Discover

An excerpt from a new book by Dr. Reneé James of the Department of Physics, Science Unshackled: How Obscure, Abstract, Seemingly Useless Scientific Research Turned Out to Be the Basis for Modern Life, is appearing in the August 29 edition of the popular science magazine Discover. The excerpt, titled "Like GPS? Thank Relativity," describes an early experiment to test Einstein's relativity theory which involved measurements with a number of highly accurate atomic clocks dispersed around the world via jet travel. The tiny differences in the various clocks' timekeeping due to distance demonstrated the reality of relativity in a way that had implications for the development of today's accurate GPS systems. The article is available online here.

August 27, 2014

Annual Fall Meeting Kicks Off New Academic Year for the College of Sciences


College of Sciences administration, faculty, and staff convened for the Annual Fall Meeting on August 26, 2014, at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.


August 26, 2014

Biological Sciences Seminar Series Kicks Off on September 4 with Dr. John Halfman of Finger Lakes Institute

Dr. John Halfman, of the Finger Lakes Institute of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, will present "Nutrient Sources, Variability and Their Water Quality Impacts: A Case Study From the Finger Lakes of Central New York" at the Department of Biological Sciences Seminar. The seminar will be held in Room 214 in the Lee Drain Building from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 4, 2014. Dr. Wozniak, of the Department of Biological Sciences, will host the even.

August 26, 2014

Pluta to Speak on "Noncommutative Retracts" at Mathematics & Statistics Colloquium on September 3

Robert Pluta, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Sam Houston State University, will present "Noncommutative Retracts" at the department's Mathematics & Statistics Colloquium on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, from 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. in Room 400 in the Lee Drain Building. Dr. Pluta's abstract notes: "A subalgebra S of an algebra A is called a corner of A if there is an S-bimodule Mcontained in A such that A = S + M (direct sum of S-bimodules). Of course the prime example is the Peirce corner S = eAe associated with an idempotent e in A, but the above definition is more general and makes no reference to idempotents. In the first part of this presentation we will give a number of basic results about corners of general algebras and C*-algebras, partly surveying [1]. In the second part we will be concerned with closed and self-adjoint corners of C*-algebras that are complemented by ideals - a notion which we consider as a noncommutative analog of topological retracts."

[1] R. Pluta, Ranges of Bimodule Projections and Conditional Expectations, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

August 25, 2014

University of Oklahoma's Strauss to Present "Properties of the Higgs Boson" on September 10 at Physics Colloquium

Michael G Strauss, Ph.D., David Ross Boyd Professor of Physics in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Oklahoma, will present "Properties of the Higgs Boson" at the Department of Physics Colloquium on September 10, 2014, at 3 p.m. in Room 105 in the Farrington Building. Dr. Strauss's abstract for the presentation states: In July 2012 the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the CERN Large Hadron collider announced the discovery of a Boson consistent with the predicted standard model Higgs Boson. Since that discovery, further measurements have given insight into the properties of this particle. This talk will discuss the importance of the Higgs Boson within the standard model, the discovery of this new Boson, and subsequent measurements of its properties. 

July 24, 2014

Geography & Geology's Acton Co-Authors Article in Science on Mediterranean Outflow Water

Dr. Gary Acton, of the Department of Geography & Geology, is one of the co-authors of an important article recently published in Science on Mediterranean outflow water. Dr. Acton, who served as Stratigraphic Correlator for the investigatory team, participated in an on-site study on the science vessel JOIDES Resolution in the Atlantic Ocean just beyond the Mediterranean Sea, in the Strait of Gibraltar area. Their research shows a considerable relationship between the oceans and climate, and has implications for oil and gas exploration as well.

Press Release From Investigatory Team (Word)

July 23, 2014

College of Sciences Fall Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 (2-4 p.m.) in Lee Drain Building 

The College of Sciences will have our annual fall meeting in the Lee Drain Building from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Refreshments will be available in the Lee Drain Atrium from 2 to 3 p.m., and we will kick off the meeting at 3 p.m. in Lee Drain 214. We will present awards of excellence for faculty and students during the meeting, introduce new faculty and staff, and review goals and challenges for the college.

July 23, 2014

College Schedules "Active Shooter" Training for August 26

On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, College of Sciences faculty and staff members will have an opportunity to take part in a training program dealing with "active shooter" situations on campus. The training session will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Lee Drain 214. A light lunch will be provided for training participants. All faculty and staff members are encouraged to attend.

June 30, 2014

Albert Attends Turkish Association of Geographers’ International Congress

Dr. Donald Albert (right), professor of geography at Sam Houston State University and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research, is joined by Dr. Yilmaz Ari (left), president of the Turkish Association of Geographers, and Dr. Karl Donert (center), president of the European Association of Geographers, at the Turkish Association of Geographers’ International Congress.

The event, which took place at Mugla University in Mugla, Turkey, was held June 4-6, 2014. Dr. Albert delivered a paper titled “The Fırst Fıve Years: Internatıonal Journal of Applıed Geospatıal Research,” and also participated in an amazing post conference tour of Koycegiz Lake, Dalyan Strait, and Kaunos Ruins.

June 26, 2014

Dean Participates in International Study Tour “Germany Today”

Dean John Pascarella participated in the 2014 Germany Today program June 14-21, as a guest of the German Higher Education Exchange agency, known as DAAD in German. Nineteen individuals, from American and Canadian universities and government agencies, participated. Besides enjoying good food and World Cup soccer games, Dean Pascarella learned about the different types of universities in Germany, differences between higher education in Germany and the United States, and explored opportunities for student and faculty exchange and study abroad in Germany and vice versa.

German higher education offers a three-year bachelor’s degree, a two-year master’s degree, and the doctoral degree. The shorter bachelor’s degree is due to the lack of general education requirements, which are covered in high school in Germany, and the focus on the specialization in the major. Most bachelor degree programs in Germany are only taught in German, but many master’s degrees and most doctoral degrees can be done in English. Universities of Applied Science do not offer doctoral degrees, faculty must have at least five years of industry experience, and teaching loads average 18 hours per week, while teaching loads are less and research expectations much higher at comprehensive and technical research universities. Interesting fact: Tuition is not charged at any German public university for German citizens!

The group visited the DAAD headquarters in Bonn, Germany, two universities of applied science (UAS-Cologne and UAS-Trier Birkenfield campus), a comprehensive research university (University of Cologne), a governmental research organization (Franhofer Institute), and a technical research university (Technical University of Munich). The University of Applied Science-Trier Birkenfield campus offers summer study courses in sustainability and renewable energy, and is a leader in these topics among German applied science universities. Dean Pascarella says, "We hope to begin developing programs with this campus in our engineering technology disciplines related to renewable energy technologies." Students and faculty members interested in studying, teaching, or doing research in Germany are encouraged to contact Dean Pascarella for more information. 

germany 1

DAAD (German Academic Exchange Agency) hosts Uta Gaedeke and Miriam Hippchen and Germany Today participant Dr. Jeffrey Peck (Dean, Weismann School of Arts and Sciences, Baruch College, City University of New York) at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. 

germany 3

View of the roof at University of Applied Science-Trier Birkenfield Campus with a green roof and solar photovoltaic panels. The University generates approximately 1/3 of its total electrical power needs from a combination of solar panels and wind turbines.

June 26, 2014

Dean and Provost visit Firat University, Elazig, Turkey

Dean of the College of Sciences Dr. John Pascarella and Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jaimie Hebert visited Firat University in Elazig, Turkey on June 9-11, 2014.

While at Firat, Provost Hebert and Dean Pascarella met the university's rector (equivalent to president), vice-rector, deans, faculty, and students in various faculties (equivalent to colleges), including engineering, nursing, technology, and education.

Firat University and Sam Houston State University have been working to develop a 2+2 program where students from Firat University will study for the last two years of a BS degree in Software Engineering Technology at Sam Houston State University, following a year of intensive English training and two years of university courses at Firat University.

In addition, Firat University is interested in a similar 2+2 program for the BS in Computer Science (concentration in Digital Forensics).

Firat University has invited the SHSU Geology department to consider holding an international geology field camp course as the region of Eastern Turkey is extremely interesting geologically, with many different rock types and active mines. 


Dr. Jaimie Hebert (SHSU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs), Dr. Asaf Varol (Dean of the College of Technology at Firat University), Dr. John Pascarella (Dean, SHSU College of Sciences), and Dr. Cihan Varol (Assistant Professor, SHSU Department of Computer Science) in front of a hydroelectric dam near Elazig, Turkey.

turkey 3

Dr. John Pascarella (Dean, SHSU College of Sciences) and Dr. Jaimie Hebert (SHSU Provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs) near Elazig, Turkey.

June 10, 2014

Physics Department Professor's Forthcoming Book Included in Johns Hopkins University Press Fall Catalog

A new book by Dr. Renee James, professor in the Department of Physics, will be featured in the fall catalog of the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Press. Dr. James' book, Science Unshackled, explains the sometimes unexpected impact of basic science research on modern life. As the catalog notes, "With a novelistic style, C. Renee James reveals how obscure studies of natural phenomena--including curved space-time, poisonous cone snails, exploding black holes, and the precise chemical makeup of the sun--led unexpectedly to WiFi, GPS, genetic sequencing, pain medications, and cancer treatments."

A description and capsule review of the book can be found on page 8 of the catalog. A digital version of the catalog can be viewed here.

June 9, 2014

College of Sciences Participates in 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium

College of Sciences Dean John Pascarella was the keynote speaker in the Undergraduate Research Symposium, hosted by the Elliot T. Bowers Honors College. Dean Pascarella spoke from personal experience on the value of participating in undergraduate research, which he took part in as an undergraduate ecology major at the University of Kansas. Dr. Pascarella emphasized the value of participation in research not only to the student, but also to the institution, in that students who are involved in undergraduate research have higher graduation rates and give back to the university at higher rates than non-participants. College of Sciences students from multiple departments presented talks and posters during the day. Faculty moderators from the College of Sciences included Dr. Madhusudan Choudhary, Dr. Todd Primm, Dr. Joni Seeling, Dr. Monte Thies, and Ms. Sonja Yung.

A full list of participants and abstracts can be found at the Undergraduate Research Program 2014 page.

undergraduate research

Biology student Oscar Chavez

undergraduate research

Biology student Kaylin Henson

June 6, 2014

Dean Takes SHSU Students to National HACU Capitol Forum Meeting

College of Sciences Dean John Pascarella and 13 SHSU students (Santiago Casa Alvarez, Stefany Cornejo, Christopher Cruz, Jessica Estrada, David Hernandez, Nayeli Lopez, Ismael Rodriguez, Jr., Mayra Rojas, Paul Ruiz-Requena, Cristina Ruiz, Victoria Rodriguez, Gloria Sanchez, and Francisco Reza) attended the Hispanic Colleges and Universities (HACU) Capitol Forum meeting April 6-8, 2014 in Washington, D.C. At the meeting, they learned about efforts to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to Hispanic students from President Obama’s Science Advisor, Dr. John Holdren (see photo). Students also participated in visits to congressional and senate representatives from Texas. 


Dean John Pascarella with College of Sciences students at the HACU meeting (from left to right, David Hernandez (undergraduate in Physics), Christina Ruiz (undergraduate in Physics), Victoria Rodriguez (graduate student in Biology), and Dean John Pascarella.

holdrenPresident Obama’s science advisor John Holdren addressed the need for more Hispanic students to study in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines. 

Sam Houston State Logo

Sam Houston State University | Huntsville, Texas 77341 | (936) 294-1111 | (866)BEARKAT Member TSUS
© Copyright Sam Houston State University | All rights reserved. | Contact Web Editor