Spring Commencement To Set Record By Big Margin

Sam Houston State University's enrollment gains of the past few years will result in a new record for graduates during spring commencement exercises May 16 and 17, and it won't even be close to the previous mark.

As of this week almost 1,600 students had applied for degrees through the SHSU Registrar's Office. Allowing for a few who won't make it, the number who are certified will likely outdo last spring's group by about 200.

Ceremonies are scheduled for 6 p.m. May 16 for the College of Arts and Sciences, 10 a.m. May 17 for the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences and Business Administration and 2 p.m. May 17 for the Colleges of Education and Criminal Justice.

Dirk Van Tuerenhout

Dirk Van Tuerenhout, anthropology curator at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, will speak at the Friday evening ceremony. Trisha S. Pollard, a 1974 SHSU graduate who later earned her law degree and is now a member of SHSU's board of regents, will speak at the two Saturday ceremonies.

Van Tuerenhout is a native of Belgium who earned master's and doctoral degrees from Tulane University. He taught at Shippensburg University before taking his present position in Houston in 1999.

At the museum, he is involved in maintaining and expanding the anthropology holdings, organizing temporary exhibits and interfacing with the general public and occasionally dealing with identification requests of dinosaur bones as well.

He has written a book on Aztec culture and is the curator of the Lucy’s Legacy exhibit. For the last seven summers, he has taught an introductory anthropology course at the University of Houston Clear Lake Campus.

Trisha Pollard was appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to a six-year term on the Texas State University System Board of Regents in March 2007 and elected vice chairman of the board in November 2007. She is vice president of Pollard Development, L.P. and lives in Bellaire.

She was also appointed by Gov. Perry to a three-year term as a public member of the Texas One-Call Board in 2003.

She has served as a director of the SHSU Alumni Association, as foreman of the Harris County Grand Jury for three terms and as chairman, Building and Standards Commission, for the City of Bellaire.

Her alumni work at SHSU has included proposing, receiving approval for, and assisting in implementation of the association's Tuition Raffle Program that has raised more than $36,000 for scholarships for first generation SHSU students. She has been a life member of the Alumni Association since 2001. Her husband, Randy, is also a SHSU graduate and their daughter, Jennifer, attends SHSU.

Trisha Pollard

During her career in the natural gas industry, she was assistant general counsel at Kinder Morgan, Inc.; vice president – Legal and Human Resources at PennUnion Energy Services; and attorney at Transco Gas Marketing Company, after working as manager, Gas Purchases, and in other business positions at Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation.

She is a Presbyterian elder and is a member of First Presbyterian Church, Houston. She also serves on Houston Bar Association committees, was chair of the Oil and Gas Section of the bar association, and is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

She received her bachelor of business administration degree from Sam Houston State and her law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston.


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SHSU Media Contacts: Frank Krystyniak
April 24, 2008
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SHSU 'In the News'


Brian Domitrovic, assistant professor of history, appeared on Book TV (C-SPAN) May 1-2, speaking about his recent book "Econoclasts: The Rebels Sparked the Supply Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity" (www.econoclasts.net).


Houston Chronicle education writer Jeannie Kever recently turned to Regents Professor of English Paul Ruffin for his views on university presses moving toward "digital books" as opposed to traditional ink-on-paper."We're fulfilling the ancient role of the university press, and that is to produce books," said Paul Ruffin, the Texas poet laureate for 2009 and director of the Texas Review Press at Sam Houston State University. "I don't want to give up the book because it is an art."


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