SHSU Update For Week Of Aug. 24



Gaertner To Address University Thursday

Jim Gaertner, Sam Houston State University president, will recognize service and award recipients and give his annual state-of-the-campus message on Thursday (Aug. 28).

The campus-wide meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Beto Criminal Justice Center's Killinger Auditorium.

In addition to his message about the university, Gaertner will recognize staff excellence award recipients and service award recipients in five-year increments beginning at 20 years.


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Davis Named Director Of Contracts, Grants

SHSU alumnus Dan Davis has come “home” to SHSU as the new director for the university’s Office of Contracts and Grants.

A 1970 graduate with his bachelor’s degree in business, Davis began in the position on Aug. 4.

As director of the office, he is responsible for the administration of all contracts and grants awarded to SHSU, including “insuring compliance with the terms specified by the sponsor, filing all financial reports and billing the sponsor for research or service conducted,” he said.

Growing up on the University of Texas at Austin campus, where his father was a professor and chairman of the journalism department for 35 years, Davis is no stranger to higher education.

He has served as the assistant director for business affairs with the Texas Engineering Experiment Station of the Texas A&M University System and as assistant director for fiscal affairs with the University of Texas Health Center at Tyler.

His efforts as associate vice president and executive director for technology development at the University of Oklahoma led to the creation of 32 companies, raised more than $60 million in capital and generated more than $20 million in cash and equity for OU and its investors.
It also led to an increase in funded research by more than $5 million in 2005 and 2006.

Previously, Davis also spent 15 years working for the Houston Advanced Research Center, where he managed the development of a collaborative research campus, leading to the creation of a state entity to facilitate contracting with the federal government, the acquisition of a $22 million supercomputer and the center’s successful management of the efforts to attract the Superconducting Supercollider to Texas.

“My career has been in higher education, indirectly,” he said. “I like the environment and was looking for the opportunity to get back into higher education.

“It’s a beautiful campus, and I really enjoy being here,” he said.


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McCall To Tell Students Importance Of FYE

Miles McCall, president of Lon Morris College, will discuss the benefits of the first year experience and other extracurricular activities on Tuesday (Aug. 26).

The Student Activities Leadership Initiative lecture will be held at 3 p.m. in the Smith-Hutson Building’s Haney Auditorium.

“He will be helping students understand that important balance that they must keep between their extracurricular and academic lives,” said Student Activities manager Brandon Cooper. “This is an excellent opportunity for both first year students and upper-class students to learn how vital it is to get involved in your college career.”

McCall became the 18th president of Lon Morris College, located in Jacksonville, Texas, in July 2005.

In his first year, Miles organized the college into six strategic business units, secured over $2 million in private support and created an innovative three-year business plan.

Prior to his appointment as Lon Morris president, McCall taught for almost 20 years at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he was named “Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year,” won the “Teaching Excellence” award for the College of Applied Arts and Sciences and also served as vice president for alumni affairs.

Miles earned his doctorate from Texas A&M University and both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from SFA. He also attended graduate school at the University of Houston-Clear Lake City.

The Student Activities Leadership Initiative was established in 2006 “in an effort to bring in speakers and lecturers that can really be an influence on our current students,” Cooper said.

Student Activities works closely with the colleges and departments to bring in one to two speakers per semester who can relate to their particular areas of interest.

For more information, call the Student Activities department at 936.294.3861.


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Presentation To Give Info On Fulbright Program

Students or faculty members who are interested in spending a semester or even a year researching abroad will be able to learn about traveling with the help of the federal government on Monday (Aug. 25).

Paetra-kei Hauck and Christine Moss, from the Houston Institute of International Education, will discuss “Fulbright Opportunities Abroad for Faculty and Students” from 3-4 p.m. in Evans Building Room 417.

“Fulbright has all kinds of things for faculty and students,” said Debra Andrist, chair of the foreign languages department, who spent the summer in Morocco through the program.

“You can do research, you can teach abroad, you get the cultural experience, it looks fantastic on a CV, on a curriculum vita,” she said. “It couldn’t be any more advantageous to someone to get one of the Fulbrights, whether it’s a student or a faculty members.”

Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Program offers active programs in more than 155 countries choices in every region of the world.

“You have to have a very clear research project in most cases, and it’s highly competitive,” Andrist said. “They pay everything for you.”
The presentation is open to faculty members and students from all disciplines.

For more information, contact the foreign languages office at 936.294.1441 or


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Lecture To Give Tips On Handling Behavioral Issues

Screaming, crying, threatening, the use of profanity toward professors in the classroom: these aren’t common occurrences, but they do happen, even on the Sam Houston State University campus.

Due to the rising numbers of complaints by both students and faculty members on these kinds of behavioral issues happening in the classroom, the foreign languages department will host a “Student Behavior Management Techniques” seminar on Monday (Aug. 25).

During the presentation, held from 4-5 p.m. in Evans Building Room 417, associate dean of students Jeanine Bias will give faculty members from all disciplines tips on what to do if confronted by these types of issues.

“People aren’t aware of how you deal with this, so we’re trying to help the faculty help people learn how to handle things so to get them resolved instead of putting somebody on the defensive,” said Debra Andrist, foreign languages department chair.

“We are not alone among departments in being painfully aware that some students are not informed about their options for addressing their concerns and/or appropriate demeanors in concern-based interactions with faculty or administrators.”

Bias also will tell faculty members to whom they should turn for these issues, how to diffuse them, when to call the police and how you do a behavior referral to the Dean of Students’ Office, as well as dealing with parents in these cases.

“Our concern is really for the students, that faculty members need to help students learn how to address their concerns so that they get some results so that they aren’t throwing them out of their offices or classes,” Andrist said.

For more information, contact the foreign languages office at 936.294.1441 or


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Art To Put Spotlight On New Faculty

The SHSU art department will highlight three of its new faculty members in its first exhibit of the semester Sept. 2-19 in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

An opening reception for the “New Faculty Spotlight,” featuring the works of Buster Graybill, Jasmyne Graybill and Summer Zickefoose. will be held on Sept. 3, from 5-7 p.m.

Jasmyne Graybill's "Soap-Cracked Fantail," a piece made of polymer clay and a drain stopper, is one of the pieces that will be on display during the "New Faculty Spotlight" exhibit in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery Sept. 2-19.

One of Austin Museum of Art’s “20 to Watch: New Art In Austin” for its 2008 exhibit, Buster Graybill was awarded a fellowship to attend an artist residency at The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007.

He earned his master’s degree in sculpture this year from the University of Texas at Austin and his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas.

“Themes of adaptation, displacement, and re-contextualization have a strong undercurrent in my sculpture, installation, photography and video,” Buster said. “These themes are spawned from the subtle shifts and rapid changes that occur in the rural landscape as urban sprawl continues to consume and displace both nature and culture.”

Jasmyne Graybill has exhibited throughout Texas, including solo exhibitions at Cactus Bra and the UTSA Satellite Space in San Antonio. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in painting and drawing from UNT and the University of Texas at San Antonio, respectively.

Through her sculptures, she investigates the processes of adaptation, taking household objects and cultivating fictional versions of lichen, mold, fungus, and barnacles on their surfaces.

“Commenting on nature’s uncanny ability to adapt in synthetic environments, these intricate sculptures address the struggles that ensue when the human desire for order clashes with the natural order of life,” her artist’s statement said.

Both Graybills, who are married, will be teaching the department’s new “Workshop in Art Studio and History” program.

Completing a tour of the Midwest that included Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana, Zickefoose will be teaching ceramics and three-dimensional arts at SHSU.

Zickefoose earned bachelor’s degrees in studio art and art history from the Univeristy of Iowa and her master’s degree in multi-media and ceramics from the University of Florida.

Her multimedia artwork is deeply influenced by Midwestern and rural American culture and landscape and seeks to reveal the archeological information within common materials and sites, ultimately transforming the ordinary into the iconic.

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery is located in Art Building F and is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Debbie Davenport Harper, art department audio/visual librarian, at 936.294.1317or


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Prof’s Semi-Autobiographical Book Gets Published

A new book by a Spanish professor tells the true stories of “singing” Cuban political prisoners in the early 1980s.

“En Cuba Todo el Mundo Canta: Memorias Noveladas de un ex Preso Político,” by Rafael Saumell-Muñoz outlines his personal experiences as a political prisoner from 1981-1986 at four maximum security prisons: Villa Marista, La Cabaña, Combinado del Este and Guanajay.

Saumell-Muñoz, a television screenwriter for the show “Todo El Mundo Canta” (“Everbody is Singing”) was accused of, arrested and sentenced to five years for writing “enemy propaganda,” or “anti-communist literature.”

“At the same time, the counter-intelligence police used that name to identify its headquarters (Villa Marista) where every prisoner ‘sings’ or confesses the political crime(s) he/she had ‘committed,’” Saumell-Muñoz said.

His book, written and published in Spanish, also discusses historical events related to the Cuban regime, the former Soviet Union and its satellites in Eastern Europe.

“In the book I include many voices I heard during my prison ordeal: those from other political prisoners and common criminals,” he said.
“En Cuba Todo El Mundo Canta” was published by Editorial Betania in Madrid, Spain.

It can be purchased for $20 through Saumell-Muñoz at or Felipe Lázaro, from Editorial Betania, at

Additionally, clips from Saumell-Muñoz’s “Todo el Mundo Canto,” which he describes as similar to “American Idol” in format and purpose, can be viewed on


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Please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

All information for news stories should be sent to the office at least a week in advance to give the PR staff ample time to make necessary contacts and write the story.

For electronic access to SHSU news see the Public Relations Web page Today@Sam.



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SHSU Media Contacts: Frank Krystyniak, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Aug. 22, 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" (


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."


Faculty/Staff Birthdays


Monday, May 3

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Tuesday, May 4

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Staff Council Spotlights


Jennifer Davis

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