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SHSU Update For Week Of Sept. 22

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Speaker To Discuss High-Risk Activities In ‘Sex And Excess’

HIV/AIDS Educator Elaine Pasqua, who spoke on the Sam Houston State University campus earlier this year, will return to campus on Thursday (Sept. 26) to share with students her thoughts on the effects of high-risk activities on students’ lives and relationships.

“Sex and Excess: Surviving the Party” will be from 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theatre.

Elaine PasquaThe presentation covers a number of topics that are relevant to the college population, establishing alcohol’s effects on the brain and decision-making processes.

“My talk combines the topics of high-risk drinking, sexual health and healthy relationships and sexual assault; they do go hand in hand,” she said.

But instead of saying, “Don’t party,” Pasqua points out the negative life impact of high-risk behaviors, teaching students how to party responsibly, to keep each other safe and to make healthy choices.

Pasqua’s presentations across the country have become increasingly popular, and SHSU students last spring “raved about Elaine's eye-opening presentation,” according to Lisa Clarkson, SHSU Student Health Center programming coordinator.

“I think the students relate to the stories and the interactive exercises,” Pasqua said. “They connect emotionally to the stories and the interactive exercises are a form of experiential learning, which is more impactful.”

Pasqua has presented on these topics at colleges and universities across the country for 15 years, working with 65 campuses annually and speaking with administrators at many more.

For the past four years Pasqua has been nominated as “Best Speaker of the Year” for the Campus Activities Readers Choice Awards and has been featured in USA Today, Time Warner Cable TV and NY1 News. She has been a keynote speaker for the NCAA and provided training for the New York Giants, Jets, the NFL and NBA.

Students interested in attending should bring their Bearkat OneCard, as they will be required to sign in.

For more information, contact Clarkson at ldc010@shsu.edu or 936.294.4347.


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Career Expo To Offer More Than 100 Job Choices

Sam Houston State University’s Career Services will help students and alumni looking to enter the workforce secure coveted job positions by offering them more than 106 potential employers during the Career Expo and Graduate/Professional School Fair on Wednesday (Sept. 25).

Representatives from those organizations will be on hand to discuss full-time jobs, internships, and grad/professional school admissions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

A recent report published by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board ranked SHSU second in graduates obtaining employment after receiving their bachelor’s degrees, showing how SHSU’s graduates are among the states most sought after job candidates, said Mitch Parker, Career Services marketing and events coordinator.

“The Career Expo and Graduate/Professional School Fair is an excellent opportunity for students to network with and find out information about current opportunities with both state and federal agencies and also with numerous organizations both in the not-for-profit and the for-profit sectors,” he said. “I encourage everyone to attend, dressed professionally, with multiple copies of your résumé, and be ready to talk with employers.”

Among the companies that will be represented include Dallas and Houston police departments; Enterprise Holdings; Buckeye; Fastenal; KBTX-TX; J.P. Morgan Chase; Halliburton; Geico; Nucor Steel; Peace Corps; PLS Logistical Services; Reynolds and Reynolds; Sherwin Williams; Target Corporation; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; Walgreens; and Texas departments of banking, criminal justice, protective and regulatory services, and public safety.

In addition, graduate and professional programs from SHSU, Dallas Theological Seminary, Houston Baptist University, Lamar University, Lone Star College System, Louisiana State University, Our Lady of the Lake University, Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Texas Wesleyan University, University of North Texas, University of Houston and the University of Texas at Arlington, among others, will be on hand to talk about potential post-graduate educational opportunities available to students.

“This is one of our biggest job fairs of the year with employers for all majors,” said Parker.

Students who are registered on Jobs for Kats can get a jumpstart to finding a job or internship by logging on, at JobsforKats.com, to find a complete list of participating agencies, as well as position descriptions of positions they are hiring for.

Career Services will also accept resumes for critiquing at least two days before the expo.

For more information, contact Career Services at 936.294.1713.


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Fair To Provide Single Stop For Study Abroad Info

Sam Houston State University’s Office of International Programs will introduce students to the benefit of studying in another country and get that information first-hand, from those who have traveled abroad in the past, during the Study Abroad Fair on Thursday (Sept. 26).

Returned study-abroad students, faculty leaders of summer programs, and some of the program’s international partners will be on hand to discuss their experiences and opportunities from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

During the fair, now in its third semester, students can access, in a single location, information about “the amazing array of study abroad options available to SHSU students” and how to apply, as well as receive general information on scholarships offered through the OIP, according to study abroad coordinator Jesse Starkey.

“It is a very informal affair, so students can come and go, and check out the tables with information that is interesting to them,” she said.

Though Starkey has been with SHSU for only a little more than three years, she said she has seen a definite increase in the amount of interest in studying abroad, facilitated, in part, by a larger OIP staff who are dedicated to assisting students.

“I can say that the number of students studying abroad for the full semesters (fall or spring, or academic year) has tripled since 2010, and it looks like those numbers will continue to increase,” Starkey said. “The majority of students who study abroad go on our faculty-led trips, which are short—two-week to one-month long—trips, usually held in the summer. In 2013 we will be offering our first winter-term faculty-led trip and hope to make those a regular occurrence in the years to come.

“An important note about study abroad in a national perspective: only about 1 percent of U.S. college students study abroad, so having that on your resume when you graduate puts you at a competitive advantage over 99 percent of your peers,” she said.

For more information on the fair, contact Starkey at 936.294.3276.


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Museum To Offer Free Admission For Annual Event

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum will allow visitors to explore its historical displays and exhibits for free on Saturday (Sept. 28) as part of National Museum Day.

Museum Day Live! logoThe Smithsonian magazine’s ninth annual Museum Day Live! event will make “cultural education accessible to everyone” by offering free admission to visitors presenting a Museum Day Live! ticket, downloadable at Smithsonian.com/museumday or Smithsonianmag.com/museumday.

Free tickets are good at more than 1,400 participating venues, including the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, for two people. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address.

“It’s a very simple process to get your ticket,” said Sam Houston Memorial Museum marketing coordinator Megan Buro. “Once you go to the Museum Day website, click on the ‘Ticket Information’ tab, fill out the contact information, and choose the museum you wish to visit (TX-Sam Houston Memorial Museum).

“Your ticket is emailed to you, and then you just print it and bring it to the museum on Sept. 28.”

In honor of National Museum Day and Bearkat Family Weekend, also occurring that day, the museum will also host a number of special activities.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., costumed museum staff members will be at the Bear Bend Cabin for “Making the Big Tent: Cotton on Sam Houston’s Farm.”

“Tying in the family weekend circus theme, our staff will explain about the fibers that are used to make the big tent,” Buro said. “From growing to processing and spinning to weaving, staff will help children and adults explore cotton with hands-on activities.”

In addition, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., blacksmithing and woodworking demonstrations will also be available on the grounds as well.

“We are excited to participate in this annual event hosted by the Smithsonian magazine,” Buro said. “It’s our third year to take part in it, and it is an opportunity for visitors to take advantage of free admission to the museum to learn about Gen. Sam Houston and the legacy he and his family have left Huntsville and the United States.”

Last year’s national event drew more than 400,000 participants, and this year’s event expects record-high participation.

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum’s Saturday hours are from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Buro at 936.294.3839 or visit the museum online or on Facebook.


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Association Charters Bus For Rivalry Game

Bearkat football fans who don’t want to fight the Houston traffic or pay for parking at Reliant Stadium can catch a ride to the 88th “Battle of the Piney Woods” game with the Sam Houston State University Alumni Association.

A sponsored charter bus is scheduled to depart from the Chemistry and Forensic Science Building parking lot, on the corner of Sam Houston Avenue and Bowers Drive, at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 2. It will return immediately following the game.

Those who travel via the charter bus will arrive in time to participate in all of the tailgating festivities, including the Alumni Association tent, where free food will be offered to the first 1,000 fans to visit the alumni and university colleges tailgating area, which will be in the Blue Lot 22.

The cost is $30 per person, which does not include game ticket. Seating is limited, and reservations are requested by Oct. 31.

Kickoff for the annual Sam Houston vs. Stephen F. Austin rivalry game is at 3 p.m.

Attendance at the Battle of the Piney Woods has been steadily increasing since the game was moved to Reliant Stadium, from 24,685 in 2010 to 26,185 during the 2012 matchup, approximately two-thirds of which were purchased by Bearkats.

The eventual Southland Conference champion has been the winner of this game each of the past four years—with SFA taking home the title in 2009 and 2010 and SHSU in 2011 and 2012, according to Paul Ridings, associate athletic director for media relations.

“Sam Houston holds a 50-35-2 advantage in the series,” he said.

Approximately 28,000 tickets are available in the lower bowl, which can be purchased online at gobearkats.com/tickets.

In addition, leading up to the game, the Houston Touchdown Club will host “The Battle of the Piney Woods” luncheon at the JW Marriott Hotel at 5150 Westheimer. Tickets are available for the luncheon, which will begin at noon on Oct. 30. Information is available online through Gobearkats.com.

For more information, or to reserve a seat on the charter bus, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 936.294.1841 or go online to alumni.shsu.edu.


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Studies Examine Domestic Violence Weapons, Arrests

A recent study at Sam Houston State University found that weapons were involved in 40 percent of domestic violence cases in Houston and that distinct patterns emerged on when and where each type of weapon was used.

“Profiling weapon use in domestic violence: Multilevel analysis of situational and neighborhood factors” was based on 9,450 detailed reports of domestic violence cases that occurred in 2005 throughout Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city.

While the majority of cases—60 percent—reported the use of bodily force, weapons were involved in two out of every five cases, including knives, in 7 percent of these cases, and guns, in nearly 4 percent of cases; the majority of weapons—26 percent—were classified only as “other” in the police report.

The study, authored by Pennsylvania State University’s Joonyeup Lee and SHSU criminal justice associate professor Yan Zhang and professor Larry Hoover, was published in Victims & Offender.

“The underlying criminological basis is rational choice theory,” Lee said. “Crimes occur when motivation meets with an optimal situation. Our attempt is to profile this situation in terms of time, day, location, and the demographic relationship between the suspect and the complainant.”

For example, knives were more likely to be used in a residence and late at night. Men who confront women generally use bodily force, but men who confront men or women who confront men will more likely use a weapon.

“Police regularly respond to domestic violence calls, which can include anything from a verbal argument to a serious assault with weapons,” Lee said. “Ideally, if we can figure out the pattern of weapon use, police will have an educated guess on what may be involved as they respond to the scene in such a short notice and with limited information.”

In a second study, “Police response to domestic violence: multilevel factors of arrest decision,” the three researchers found that police decision-making includes legal and other factors.

rrests in domestic violence cases were most likely to occur in areas with heavy concentrations of immigrants and economically disadvantaged. In addition, domestic violence arrests were most likely to occur late at night, on weekends or at a residence.

“It may sound counterintuitive that extra-legal factors, such as time, location, or neighborhood, matters to whether police make arrests,” Lee said. “Some people believe purely legal factors should be the determinants and criticize police for being discretionary.”

Hoover noted it’s "not surprisingly arrests occur more frequently in neighborhoods with a history of high crime and violence."

The study analyzed similar reports of domestic violence from the Houston Police Department in 2005 and was published in Policing: an International Journal of Police Strategies and Management.


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Chapman Returns To SHSU As Senior TRIES Scientist

Brian ChapmanBrian R. Chapman has been named senior research scientist at Sam Houston State University’s Texas Research Institute for Environmental Studies.

“Brian Chapman is well respected in the scientific community,” said Jerry L. Cook, associate vice president responsible for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. “His addition to the research team at TRIES elevates our recognition and will provide leadership for other scientists at the institute. I am excited about his return to our university.”

Chapman brings more than 40 years of higher education experience and research expertise to his new position at TRIES.

His goals include furthering SHSU’s excellent reputation as a research university and developing first-rate research teams involving faculty, staff and administration, he said.

“It is great to be back at a university where I have so many friends,” Chapman said. “SHSU has grown and expanded its quality reputation in teaching, research and service. I am looking forward to being a part of the university’s continued growth and excellence.”

Chapman spent 17 years at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi as a professor of biology and college administrator.

After working at the University of Oklahoma and University of Georgia, Chapman came to SHSU, where he was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of Zoology.

Upon leaving SHSU in 2005, Chapman was provost and vice president for academic affairs at West Texas A&M University. He held similar positions at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the University of Houston before returning to SHSU.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs assists in all aspects of research and other creative endeavors performed by students and faculty at the SHSU.


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Financial Aid Sees 27 Percent Increase, Recognizes Analyst

Sharon Wright and Dr. Dana Gibson
Financial Aid senior analyst Sharon Wright, with university President Dana Gibson, who recognized Wright and others for their 20 or more years of service during the General Faculty and Staff Meeting on Sept. 5. —Photo by Brian Blalock

If you’ve had a hard time reaching one of the staff members in the Financial Aid Office recently, there is a very good reason.

Of the approximately 19,200 students who have enrolled for the fall 2013 semester, more than 14,270 have been awarded financial aid. That’s an increase of more than 27 percent from this time last year.

On Aug. 26 alone, Financial Aid staff members saw 961 visitors. Since July, the office has seen more than 12,000 students and handled more than 26,300 calls.

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office staffs 27 full-time employees and several work-study students. Among them is Sharon Wright, who was recently recognized for 20 years of service.

Wright, who has served under four directors, was hired as the secretary of the department and had such duties as processing Hazlewood awards (now handled within the Veterans Resource Center), processing scholarship disbursements, and handling state program awards, among other responsibilities.

She later transitioned from loan processor, to Perkins Loan and default management, and then to verification support, before becoming a counselor, and then an analyst, and currently is the senior analyst, a position she has held for nearly six years.

As the senior analyst, Wright was instrumental in the Banner implementation that occurred in 2009 year, with the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office leading the transition.

“Sharon may lead the pack in longevity, but exactly half of the employees have been a part of the Financial Aid family for five or more years, including four who have made this their home for 10 or more years,” said Brandi Jones, office supervisor. “This close-knit group is credited with making Financial Aid and Scholarships successful in helping so many students reach their goal in being able to attend SHSU, and with making this department a great place to work.”


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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
Sept. 19, 2013
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu






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

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