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SHSU Update For Week Of Nov. 17

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Voices Lecturer To Discuss Sexual Assault

As a 28-year law enforcement veteran, Michael Sweeney handled many sexual assault cases at the Aurora, Colo., and Ocean Springs, Miss., police departments. Now he is teaching law enforcement officers, advocates, and counselors how to investigate these cases and understand victims and perpetrators.

Michael SweeneySweeney is a training specialist for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, a statewide advocacy group for sexual assault survivors and the agencies that serve them.

On Wednesday (Nov. 20), he will visit the SHSU campus to discuss the myths and realities of sexual assault, including stranger versus non-stranger assaults, the revictimization of survivors by the criminal justice system, the neurobiology of trauma, and how to investigate a case and interview victims and perpetrators. He also will provide career tips for those interested in joining the victim services field.

His presentation will be from 1-3 p.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.
Sweeney began his career in 1984 in the Aurora Police Department, where even as a rookie he handled more sexual assault cases than drunk driving cases, a trend that continued throughout his career. There, he earned two Meritorious Service Awards as a narcotics detective.

In 1998, he relocated to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, rising to the rank of Chief of Detectives at the Ocean Springs Police Department and specializing in interviewing and interrogation techniques and statement analysis.

After his retirement, he became a master trainer for the National Alliance of Chaplains Corps, for which he provided training programs for chaplains, who often are first responders for death notifications, on such issues as stress management, debriefing, sexual assault and suicides. In 2008, he graduated from the FBI National Academy.

Sweeney joined TAASA in March and serves as the police liaison, the first law enforcement officer in that position. He provides trainings for local departments, Border Patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, as well as victim advocates, rape crisis center personnel and licensed professional counselors in a multi-disciplinary approach to handle sexual assault cases.

“That’s something that wouldn’t happen 30 years ago,” said Sweeney. “Unfortunately, this is not something that goes away anytime soon.

“It’s a very rewarding career. It can be heart-wrenching at times, so there is a lot of self-care that is needed,” he said. “A lot of people go into these careers thinking they can change the world and make a difference. If you take small bites at a time and one step at a time, you can.”


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Health Center To Help Students ‘Get Selves Tested’ For Free

It is estimated that 50 percent of sexually active young people (one in two) will get a sexually transmitted disease by the age of 25, and most won’t know it, according to the Get Yourself Tested program website.

Every year, there are more than 19 million new STD cases in the United States, nearly half of which are among people ages 15-24.

To encourage students within that critical age group to be aware of their status, the Texas Department of State Health Services will offer free testing for HIV and syphilis through SHSU’s Student Health Center on Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 19-20).

Through the Get Yourself Tested program, currently enrolled students can receive free, anonymous testing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day in the Recreational Sports Center Multipurpose Room No. 3.

“Both of these tests will be done with one blood draw,” said Lisa Clarkson, SHC programming coordinator. “That means only one stick with the needle, one vile of blood drawn, but two tests.”

In addition to being statistically more at risk for STDs because of their age, students should participate in this free testing event because of the state’s statistics on both of the diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2010 that Texas ranks fourth highest among the 50 states in cumulative reported AIDS cases and 10th for syphilis.

About 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and one-fifth of those infected are unaware of their infection, the report continues.

Regular HIV testing is recommended for everyone 13-64 years old and is not done automatically; those wishing to be tested for HIV must request the test from a healthcare provider. Testing is also recommended for those who have had unprotected sex, a new sex partner or shared needles or equipment to inject drugs.

“We are doing this testing in conjunction with an STI video presentation being held for Kinesiology 2115 on those days,” Clarkson said. “I scheduled the Texas Health Department to come in on those same days so that students could get tested if they felt inclined. I want to make the testing as convenient for them as possible.

“Typically students would have to pay $18 for the HIV test and $12 for the syphilis (RPR) at the Student Health Center but the Texas Department of State Health Services is offering the testing to students for free,” she said.

Testing will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, contact Clarkson at 936.294.4347 or ldc010@shsu.edu or visit itsyoursexlife.com/gyt.


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Musical To Bring Hilarious Political Satire To SHSU

Inflation gets the best of us. As the cost of everything from postage stamps, electricity and gas continues to rise, we moan about how much cheaper everything was.

Urinetown PosterNow, contemplate how you would feel if you had to pay to use the toilet? Would you continue to gripe or take a stand?

This is the premise of Urinetown, The Musical, premiering on the Sam Houston State University campus on Wednesday (Nov. 20) in the University Theatre Center’s Erica Starr Theatre.

Show times for the four-night event, presented by the department of theatre and musical theatre, will be at 8 p.m. each day, as well as a 2 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 23) matinee.

Urinetown, by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold.

In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets, and the citizens must pay for one of humanity’s most basic needs.

Amid the people, a hero decides he’s had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom.

Audiences should not let the title fool them—the show is not an indulgence in toilet humor; rather, it is a clever look at how greed and corruption on the highest levels impacts us all, according to associate professor of theatre Tom Prior, who directs the production.

“It's a satirical musical with a heart of gold,” he said.

Throughout its run, Urinetown, The Musical has been nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning for best book, score and direction. It also won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for best musical.

Additional talents for the production include music director Laura Avery; choreographer Michael Tapley and Caleb White; set designer Craig Brossman; lighting designer Connor Toups; sound designer Andrew Harper; and costume designers Kris Hanssen and Paisley Timm.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and are available at 936.294.2339 or 936.294.1339 or online at shsu.edu/boxoffice.


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Brass Musicians To End Semester On ‘Joyful’ Note

SHSU’s School of Music will present a duo of concerts that showcase faculty and students who play brass instruments beginning Monday (Nov. 18).

An octet of faculty will kick off the week during the Faculty Brass Recital at 5 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

Trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba faculty members will perform a program that includes English composer Edward Gregson’s “Equale Dances for Brass Quintet, 1” a five-movement, 20th-century work utilizing many different muting effects; Canadian composer Morley Calvert’s “Suite from the Monteregian Hills,” a neo-Romantic work written in the 20th century; and Austrian composer J. G. Albrechstberger’s “Dopplefuge,” a work arranged (but not originally composer for brass) for low brass, written in the late Baroque (late 1700s), among others, according to horn professor Peggy DeMers.

Faculty performers for this recital include DeMers, Randy Adams, Steve Warkentin and Amanda Pepping, playing trumpet; Ben Osborne, Henry Howey and Aric Schneller, playing trombone; and Robert Daniel, playing tuba.

On Thursday (Nov. 21), it will be “A Joyful Occasion” when the newly named Old Main Brass Choir takes stage to perform a program of “beautiful brass literature” at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Concert Hall, according to conductor Randy Laran, a senior music major.

The concert will begin under conductor Joseph Vranas, a senior music major, as the choir performs Brian Balmages's “Fanfare Canzonique,” Morten Lauridsen's beautiful “O Magnum Mysterium” and Steve Kellner's “exuberant arrangement” “Joyful, Joyful,” according to Laran.

After intermission, Laran will conduct his last concert with The Old Main Brass Choir, concluding the evening with Brian Balmages's “Ite Missa Est,” a “powerful and emotional work, taking you through a musical representation of the history of Christianity, namely its most important figure, Jesus,” he said.

“This is a chance for SHSU students and the Huntsville community to see the work the musicians of the School of Music having been doing this semester,” Laran said. “We hope that through concerts like these, we can create or rekindle a love for music in the students at SHSU and bring people together through music.”

Both concerts are free and open to the public.

For more information, call the School of Music at 936.294.1360.


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Thanksgiving Week Concert To Feature Student Ensembles

Various chamber ensembles within the SHSU School of Music will give audiences something to be thankful for as they come together to present a Thanksgiving week concert on Sunday (Nov. 24).

The Appalachian Spring Recital will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Concert Hall and will feature SHSU’s saxophone quartet, a flute and harp duet, and a string quartet that will perform alongside the featured 13-piece chamber orchestra.

Under the helm of senior music majors Stefan Murat, as artistic director, and Randy Laran, as music director, the groups will play an international and era-spanning program that will include W.A. Mozart’s “String Quartet No. 19 in C-Major K. 465,” also called “Dissonance,” Vincent Persichetti’s “Serenade No. 10, Op. 79” and Jean Rivier’s “Grave et Presto.”

These works will lead up to the centerpiece of the concert (and the concert’s namesake), a “massive work” by 20th century composer Aaron Copland called “Appalachian Spring Suite.”
“‘Appalachian Spring,’ in my opinion, is one of the most important pieces in American music,” Murat said. “It is over 20 minutes long, whereas the other pieces are no longer than 10 minutes.

“We are performing the original 13 instrument version written by Aaron Copland for Martha Graham,” he said.

“Appalachian Spring” concerns “a pioneer celebration in spring around a newly-built farmhouse in the Pennsylvania hills in the early part of the last century,” according to Copland.

The work received the Pulitzer Prize for music, as well as the award of the Music Critics Circle of New York for the outstanding theatrical work of the season 1944-1945.

“This piece has an intimacy and beauty that the public can taken directly to its heart,” Murat said.

Student performers in the concert include: from the string quartet, violinists Andres Bravo and Cameron Tesoro, violist Herbert Anzora and cellist Sara Bravo; Morgan Gentry, on flute, and Heather Woitena, on harp; and the saxophone quartet, comprising soprano saxophonist Brenden Johnson, alto saxophonist Allen Reyes, tenor saxophonist Chris Canales and baritone saxophonist Holly Hickson.

The 13-piece chamber orchestra will comprise a full string section and the flute, clarinet, bassoon and piano.

Admission is free.

For more information, call the School of Music at 936.294.1360.


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Center To Provide Cost-Effective Holiday Shopping Tips

The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend more than $602 billion this holiday season.

As students begin heading to the malls over the next month and a half to contribute their portion of that estimate for holiday gifts, the Student Money Management Center will remind them to be practical on a student budget.

The “Holiday Spending on a Merry Little Budget” workshops will begin at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday (Nov. 18), in Lowman Student Center Room 315.

“We have a culture that accepts and encourages irresponsible spending habits during the holidays,” said SMMC program coordinator Andrea Rabon. “We’re not trying to turn people into the Grinch and make you not spend anything; however, we don’t want students to turn into Buddy the Elf and spend every penny they have to spread holiday cheer.”

Led by SMMC peer counselor Samantha McKinley, the workshop will show students how to plan and budget for the season of giving, offering tips for shopping on Black Friday and how to put together an inexpensive gift.

McKinley also will address learning your financial limits and statistical facts about overspending during the holiday season, ways to plan spending trips, and how to be prepared for any unexpected costs.

Among the tips she will share is “NPFP: Never Pay Full Price.”

“Taking time to search for coupons, online deals, or sales ads on gifts that you are looking for will save you money for a little time investment,” Rabon said.

For more information, contact the Student Money Management Center at 936.294.2600 or smmc@shsu.edu.


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ACE Announces Photo Contest Winners

ACE contest winners holding their photos
ACE contest winners include (from left) Michael Eubanks, "Best ACE Action Photo;" Laura Morais, "Best ACE Group Photo;" and Sonja Stapleton, "Best ACE Community Photo." —Photo by Brian Blalock

Three students have been recognized by SHSU’s Center for Academic Community Engagement for their winning entries in the inaugural ACE photo contest.

The contest was open to students enrolled in ACE courses in the spring and students were encouraged to submit photography in three areas: action, community and group photos.

“Many excellent photos were submitted that captured the community engagement projects that the students had experienced,” said Joyce McCauley, director for the Center for Academic Community Engagement.

Winners included junior communication studies major Michael Eubanks, “Best ACE Action Photo;” senior interdisciplinary studies major Sonja Stapleton, “Best ACE Community Photo;” and communication studies Laura Morais, “Best ACE Group Photo.”

Eubanks’s photo was taken for his COMS 2385 “Community Applied Communications” class, which involved a community engagement experience working with the Cheer Live organization to put together a marketing event.

The photo shows fellow classmates working their booth table at Cheer Live and putting their communication techniques to the test. The class members met with customers at the Cheer Live event as salesmen after going through preparation, research, and eventually direct communication at the event.

The project benefited Cheer Live with an increase in sales and Michael gained valuable lessons and work experience in a company.

Stapleton’s photo was taken for her READ 3372 “Literacy Methods,” for which the class worked at O.A. Reaves Elementary School to assist teachers.

Her winning photo shows Sonja reading a self-created story to third graders, one of whom was her personal mentee, with whom she worked to brainstorm and create a own story of his own to share with his family and peers at an Author's Celebration.

Laura Morais’s photo was taken while she was enrolled in COMS 2385 “Community Applied Communications,” for which her class partnered with Montgomery County for Adoption Day, an event to celebrate families adopting children in and around Conroe.

Her photo is a group shot of her peers and their community partners, each with a smile for their involvement in Adoption Day.

Almost 200 Academic Community Engagement courses are currently offered at SHSU. ACE courses have a component of community engagement for which students are able to apply the skills and knowledge learned in the course to make a difference in local non-profit organizations, programs, events or businesses.

For more information about ACE courses, contact the Center for Academic Community Engagement at ace@shsu.edu.


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Today@Sam Seeks Spring Calendar Info

The university Communications Office is now collecting information on campus events for its spring calendar pages.

Departmental calendars or events can be sent to today@sam.edu or jenniferg@shsu.edu or faxed to 294.1834. Please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

Information collected for the Today@Sam calendar pages, at http://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/calendars/, is used by various media outlets, as well as the Communications Office for news stories and releases.

All information, including story ideas and update items for Today@Sam, should be sent a minimum of a week in advance of the event in order to make necessary contacts and write a story.

To see a full list of the Today@Sam submission guidelines, or to access submission forms for news or feature stories, calendar submissions, or hometown releases, visit http://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/guidelines.html.

For more information, call 936.294.1836.


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Submit Update Items Here

In order to assist members of the Sam Houston State University community in publicizing events, the SHSU Communications Office (Today@Sam) is now requesting that students, faculty and staff submit information about events, accomplishments or ideas for feature stories online.

Submission criteria and guidelines, including deadlines, have now been placed online, at http://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/guidelines.html. This information is also accessible through the “Submissions” link in the right-hand navigation on Today@Sam.

From there, those submitting ideas can access forms that will allow them to provide detailed information about their idea, as well as attach event calendars, vitas/resumes or photos, depending on the type of submission.

Ideas submitted to the SHSU Communications Office are directly utilized in several ways: as news stories, “slider” or SHSU home page stories, hometown releases, and on the Today@Sam calendar.

If your submission qualifies for distribution, we will either contact you for more detailed information, or we will edit the information using SHSU/journalistic style and forward the final release to the appropriate media.

All information is verified before release, so please provide complete, accurate and timely information. Please type all responses in appropriate upper and lower cases.

For more information, contact the Communications Office at 936.294.1836 or today@sam.edu.



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SHSU Media Contacts: Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Nov. 7, 2013
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu






This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office
Associate Director: Julia May
Manager: Jennifer Gauntt
Located in the 115 Administration Building
Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu.

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