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SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 20

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Employees To Get ‘Shot’ At Flu Vaccines, Oct. 22-23

The SHSU Student Health Center will help faculty and staff to stay well throughout flu season through the yearly administration of the seasonal influenza vaccine on Tuesday and Wednesday (Oct. 22-23).

Free flu shots will be given to faculty and staff from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Lobby.

In order to receive a flu shot, employees must present their Bearkat OneCard.

Those receiving the shot are asked to come prepared with sleeves that can be easily adjusted to expose their shoulder in order to speed the administration process.

“Because the influenza virus is highly contagious, we encourage all SHSU employees to take advantage of the free flu vaccination campaign,” Sarah Hanel, SHC director. “By obtaining a vaccine, this can help aid employees and students from lost work or class days, or other potential serious complications.”

It is highly recommended that employees who are pregnant or nursing consult their treating physician prior to obtaining the vaccine. The Student Health Center is not responsible for any adverse incident related to the administration of the flu vaccine.

For more information about the influenza vaccine or the administration process, visit shsu.edu/~uhc_www or call 936.294.1805.


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HPD Officer To Get ‘Real’ About Work With Gangs

Just a year after graduating from Sam Houston State University and joining the Houston Police Department, officer Eric Vento was assigned to the city’s gang task force, working in “hot spot” policing by moving around crime-ridden neighborhoods and attacking gang activities through drug and violent crime arrests.

Eric VentoThe 2010 graduate now serves on a high intensity drug trafficking area team in both uniform and plainclothes with a mission to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.

He will share the work he’s done with gangs with the SHSU community on Wednesday (Oct. 23), during “Real Talk w/ CJ,” at 3 p.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

Texas is often called the “Third Coast,” behind the East and West Coasts, for gang activity, with a diverse variety of gangs in the Houston area whose activity also reaches the Houston schools.

Vento said it is important to look at many clues to determine if an individual is involved in a gang. For example, rosaries are used in the Catholic faith, but religious paraphernalia is heavily present in the Hispanic gang culture. Drug traffickers use patron saints such as Jesus Malverde and Santa Muerte to protect their drug shipments.

Individuals may favor certain colors, clothing or accessories to indicate their gang affiliation; tattoo, markers or graffiti are commonly used and numbers may stand for letters.

For example 12, the first and second letters of the alphabet, may mean Aryan Brotherhood. Area codes, like 713, 281 or 512, also may be present to indicate the city where the gang is active.

Vento said it is important for law enforcement to identify the gangs in their area to better understand the criminal activity that occurs.

During his street investigations, Vento is required to meet two of eight criteria to include a person in a database of known gang members, which is shared among departments.

His “Real Talk” presentation also will be available live on the web at cjcenter.org/live.


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Professor To Present Graphic Novel For Reading Series

Michael Demson, assistant professor of English, will discuss and share excerpts from his new graphic novel Masks of Anarchy: The History Of A Radical Poem, From Percy Shelley To The Triangle Factory Fire on Thursday (Oct. 24).

The English Department’s Master of Fine Arts program reading series presentation will begin at 6 p.m. in the Academic Building IV Olson Auditorium.

"Masks of Anarchy"A specialist in transatlantic literature and European Romanticisms, Demson will discuss the process of bringing to life, with illustrator Summer McClinton, the stories of Romantic poet Percy Shelley and labor activist Pauline Newman, whose works intersect through Newman’s use of Shelley’s political poem “The Masque of Anarchy” to inspire her fellow union workers.

Called the “New Joan of Arc” by the New York Times, Newman, a Jewish immigrant, marched with tens of thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands, in the streets of New York as a leading organizer of one of America’s most powerful unions at the turn of the 20th century, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union.

Demson also will talk about the power of poetry to effect political change, as revealed in his graphic novel through the shifting between Shelley’s and Newman’s stories, juxtaposing Shelley’s creation of his “The Masque of Anarchy”—inspired by the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, wherein peaceful protesters demanding government reform were attacked (and some murdered) by the British army—and the beginnings of Newman’s radicalization as she becomes the first female organizer in the U.S.

“Shelley gets wind of the Peterloo Massacre and he is so outraged that in a sort of fit of fury he writes ‘The Masque of Anarchy,’ which has been called the greatest political poem in English,” Demson said. “It’s really his response, denouncing the government for this brutality against the people it’s supposed to protect.”

Demson earned his doctorate at the City University of New York in 2009. Since joining the SHSU faculty in 2010, he has taught classes on Romanticism, world literature, literary theory and the graphic novel.

The event is sponsored by the SHSU English department's MFA program in creative writing, editing and publishing.

For more information, contact program director Scott Kaukonen at 936.294.1407.


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Leadership Workshop To Help Students Assess Strengths

Sam Houston State University’s Center for Leadership and Service will help students “Discover their Strengths” during two workshops on the SHSU main campus and The Woodlands Center.
Program coordinator Meredith Conrey will lead the “energetic,” interactive workshops on Wednesday (Oct. 23), from 4-6 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center, and on Saturday (Oct. 26), from 10 a.m. to noon at TWC.

The “Discover Your Strengths” workshop helps students explore their natural strengths and talents through the Clifton StrengthsFinder inventory. Taking the survey before the session, Conrey guides students through their top five StrengthsQuest themes of talent.

Those themes, which of which there are 34 and include “achiever,” “communication,” “adaptability” and “strategic,” help students learn more about who they are and what they can bring to a team or group, according to Conrey.

“Knowing one’s strengths and talents helps students learn what they naturally do best,” she said. “The workshop includes a variety of activities geared towards different learning styles that include action and discussion among the participants about personal strengths, those of others, and the background and research that brought the strengths program into existence.

“After receiving their results and learning more about how to turn a talent theme into a strengths during the workshop, students will be able to seek out opportunities and leadership roles where they can use their strengths for the betterment of themselves and others,” she said.

The workshop is free for all students, and participation is limited to 20 students, who are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Students are required to register at least two days before the workshop. The final workshop for the semester will be held Nov. 5 on the main campus, and the program will offer more workshops in the spring.

For more information, or to register, visit shsu.edu/~org_cls/strengthsquest.html or contact the Center for Leadership and Service at 936.294.3467 or cls@shsu.edu.


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Vigil To Recognize Prevalence Of Domestic Violence

Sam Houston State University’s Alpha Chi Omega sorority will honor the victims and survivors of domestic violence while raising awareness for the cause with a luminary vigil on Wednesday (Oct. 23).

The vigil, being held in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, will begin at 6 p.m. at the Blatchley Bell Tower.

Among the activities will be testimonies and uplifting stories, as well as dramatic performances, according to Alyssa Beyer, Alpha Chi Omega vice president for philanthropy.

Domestic Violence Awareness is Alpha Chi Omega's philanthropy, and the group hosts multiple events a year to help Huntsville’s SAAFE House shelter and raise awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence.

“One in every six women experience domestic abuse during their lifetime,” Beyer said. “An average of 45,000 women a year have reported abuse or sexual assault just in the Houston area; 30 women were killed in a result of domestic violence in Harris County just this year.

“It is definitely something that men and women need to have more awareness about, especially when the person getting abused feels like there is no way out,” she said.

For more information on the event, contact Beyer at 832.866.5198.


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Student Exhibit To Explore Emotional 'Manifestations'

“Manifestation,” an exhibition of illustrations and watercolor portraits by graduating seniors Townes Lucy and Grady L. Williams, will be on display in the Lowman Student Center Art Gallery through Oct. 30.

A reception for the exhibit will be Thursday (Oct. 24), from 6-7 p.m. in the gallery.

Both Lucy and Williams utilize watercolor to illustrate circumstances in which emotions belay them to the conscious mind and the struggles each face in their lives.

In her series, “Reflection,” Lucy expresses her experiences fighting depression, using a deer, a red balloon and a blindfold—the more the balloon inflates, the sooner the blindfold hits the ground and the deer is able to see.

“Sometimes, by avoiding the acknowledgment of something one knows is true, one can be surrounded by a lot of negativity in the end,” Lucy said. “Realizing what one knows is true is, in fact, real, one is able to move around and overcome the obstacles and learn to make things better.”

Learning from experiences like these has helped Lucy truly see herself for the first time and has empowered her to explore new feelings and ideas in her work, she said.

Lucy will graduate from SHSU in December with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art.

In 2011, she developed a style with pen and ink, using line in an illustrative manner and later incorporating watercolor to her illustrations.

Inspired by personal issues, she has begun a new series that explores her struggle and triumph metaphorically, using blindfolds and red balloons, and working small to explore using blending the colors as detail using only a little ink.

Through this series, she believes she is growing as an artist, as well as revealing parts of herself that she had kept hidden for a very long time, she said.

Williams’s work lies at the crossroads of bouts with depression and the understanding of social responsibilities. This, he said, has forced extreme inward thinking and execution of self-control in stressful circumstances, thus becoming a strict separation of his inner and outer self.

“The stark pencil drawing, juxtaposed with the ethereal and muddy watercolors, illustrates these inner and outer feelings. The blank and outlined characters represent the plain outward presentation; they are shells in which the turbulent emotions reside,” Williams said. “For viewers, the exposition of these emotions allows them to experience them with a detached sensibility as they are confronted with various struggles such as religion, self, image and social ineptitude.”

Williams will graduate from SHSU in December with a BFA degree in studio art.

Born in 1990, Williams showed early interest in the arts and sciences, and moved to Huntsville after graduating from Deer Park High School to major in English.

He later enrolled as an art student and passed his BFA review in 2011.

Drawing from his life experiences, his works echo of his personal struggles and growth as his horizons expand beyond student life, he said.

For more information on “Manifestation,” contact Rebecca Finley, associate professor of photography, at bfinley@shsu.edu or 936.294.3418.


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‘Chaotic’ Program To Feature Upcoming Comet

The SHSU physics department will highlight the “color” and “sound” of math, fusing science and art for its planetarium series program “Chaos and Order” on Friday (Oct. 25).

The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the SHSU Planetarium, located in Farrington Building Room 102.

“Chaos and Order” showcases the “fundamental connection between reality and mathematics,” taking audiences on a journey into a “fascinating world of sensuous, ever-evolving images and symphonic-electronic music,” according to Michael Prokosch, physics department staff laboratory assistant.

The program will also include information on the Comet ISON, which was discovered by two Russian amateur astronomers in September 2012 and is being called “potentially brilliant,” with astronomers predicting it could be as bright as the full moon or, perhaps, even visible in daylight, according to Space.com.

If the comet survives its close solar encounter next month, it could put on a great show for sky watchers in early December, experts say.

Prokosch will also point out some of the constellations that can be currently seen in the night sky, including Pegasus, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Cepheus and Cygnus, to name a few.

Future presentations will be on Nov. 8, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13.

Admission is free.

For more information, contact Prokosch at 936.294.3664 or mwp007@shsu.edu.


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Student Musicians To ‘Raise Voices’ In Song

The Sam Houston State University Women's Choir and Concert Choir will join together to perform a series of religion-inspired pieces on Friday (Oct. 25), beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.

The Concert Choir will be accompanied by organist Eric Gundersen as they sing selections including “Zadok the Priest,” a coronation anthem by the Baroque composer Handel; the Renaissance motet “Rejoice in the Lord Always;” the “Bell Anthem” by the Baroque composer Purcell; and Rejoice in the Lamb by the 20th century composer Britten.

The Women’s Choir, joined by graduate violin student Carmen Abelson on one song, will sing works thematically playing on various “awakenings,” inspired by Joseph M. Martin’s “The Awakening.”

“The music is varied and both choirs will sound wonderful,” said Denise Eaton, women’s choir director. “The SHSU School of Music consists of wonderful students who are committed to quality music-making.”

The SHSU Concert Choir comprises approximately 40 undergraduate music majors and non-majors “who love to sing” and “audition at the beginning of each semester,” according to director Eric Esparza.

The SHSU Women's Choir consists of 34 singers, all of whom audition prior to school beginning and approximately one-third of whom are non-music majors.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for senior citizens and $5 for SHSU students and can be purchased online at shsu.edu/academics/fine-arts-and-mass-communication/online-boxoffice.html.

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


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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
Oct. 18, 2013
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu






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Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

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

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