SHSU Update For Week Of Nov. 16



Friedman To Share Experience During Lecture

Barry Friedman, SHSU 2008 Faculty Excellence in Research Award winner and physics professor, will get “Up Close and Personal” with students on Wednesday (Nov. 19).

"Designed to help our students and university community build mentoring relationships with our outstanding faculty," the 30-minute lunchtime presentation will be held at noon at the Farrington Pit, according to Bernice Strauss, director of academic support programs for the Student Advising and Mentoring Center.

Friedman has been teaching at SHSU since 1989, following teaching and research work in Japan, England and Israel.

A scientist who has focused on solid state physics for the last 20 years, Friedman has received almost a half million dollars in grants over the course of the past 10 years, including five from the National Science Foundation and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Advanced Research Program.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Rice University and his doctorate from the University of Illinois.

The SAM Center’s “Up Close and Personal” speaker series began last year with a discussion by university President Jim Gaertner.

For more information, contact Strauss at 936.294.4455 or


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Presentation To Raise Recycling 'Commotion'

Have you ever wondered what it’s like living in a house built with recycled materials?

Dan Phillips, home designer/builder and owner of The Phoenix Commotion, will discuss his unique approach to home building on Thursday (Nov. 20).

The presentation, sponsored by the Bearkats Read to Succeed Program and the Office of the President, will be held at 2 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 304.

Phillips’ Huntsville-based building company, The Phoenix Commotion, constructs houses from free, salvaged and recycled materials, in order to reduce the landfill burden; provide affordable housing to targeted groups, including single mothers, low-income families and artists; and train unskilled workers to help give them marketable skills.

The presentation will be of interest to anyone concerned about environmental conservation and affordable housing, according to Phillips.

“It will explore non-traditional building techniques, which are developed from the mountains of trash produced in this country, resulting in outrageous designs,” he said.

Following the lecture, participants can our Phillips’ current project, the “Bone House,” as well as the most recent project, the “Tree House.”

Since its establishment in 1998, The Phoenix Commotion has created a dozen houses among various other projects.

The recycled houses built by the company have garnered considerable regional, national and international attention, and the company won the 2003 award for the most innovative housing worldwide by the Institute for Social Invention in London.

The company has also been covered by People magazine, CNN, HGTV, PBS and a host of other media venues for its cutting-edge approach to affordable housing.

The tour, which is expected to end by 4 p.m., is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the university will provide passenger vans for tour participants.

To sign up for the tour, which is free and open to the public, e-mail the Office of Student Success Initiatives at, with the word “tour” in the subject line.

For more information, call the SSI Office at 936.294.3422.


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Prof To Discuss Nobel Prize-Winning Playwright

Assistant professor of French Madalina Akli will discuss "Jean-Paul Sartre and the Cultural Metaphor of Griselda" on Monday (Nov. 17).
The Foreign Languages Scholarly Seminar discussion will be held from 3-5 p.m. in Evans Building Room 305.

Akli, who previously taught at Rice University, has been at SHSU since 2007.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees abroad, from universities in Romania and France, respectively. She received her doctorate from Rice University last year.

Sartre, a Nobel Prize-winning playwright from France, is the author of “Les Mouches” (“The Flies”) and “Huis Close” (“No Exit”).

His formulation of existentialism became popular in the 1940s, and “Sartre's theoretical writings as well as his novels and plays constitute one of the main inspirational sources of modern literature,” according to his biography on the Nobel Prize Web site.

For more information, contact the foreign languages department at 936.294.1441.


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‘Chicago’ To ‘Razzle Dazzle’ Mainstage Theatre

The department of theatre and dance will bring “all that jazz” to the University Theatre Center with its production of “Chicago” Wednesday through Saturday (Nov. 19-22).

Show times are at 8 p.m. each day with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee in the UTC Mainstage Theatre.

John Kander and Fred Ebb’s fast-paced musical highlights the corruption of the legal system and the historically flashy Chicago entertainment scene.

Based on a true story, the vaudeville-styled play centers around the murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, who are trying to save themselves from the noose.

“Chicago,” the smash hit that holds the record for longest-running Broadway revival, features the revolutionary dance choreography of Bob Fosse, which spawned a separate style of jazz dance that has influenced the modern jazz movement.

Directed and choreographed by dance faculty member Jonathan Charles, “Chicago” stars Destinee Rea McGinnis as Velma and Madison Turner as Roxie.

The cast also includes Christopher Amaya, Eric Aultman, William Dehorney, Allison Forsythe, Jaqui Grady, Mitchell Greco, Mark Ivy, Tony Johnson, Kristina Kee, Larry Lozier Jr., Michael McClure, Brittni Merritt, Kendrick Mitchell, Kelley Peters, Jamie Robinson, Paul Sanchez, Heather Sanders, Darcy Shytles, Kristopher Ward and Sam Weeks.

Designers include students Mike Weiss, automation and sound; Josh Kent, projection; and Amber Levy, wig and makeup; and faculty members Kris Hanssen, costume; Eric Marsh, light; and Gregg Buck, set.

The stage manager is theatre major Jordan Muller.

“Chicago” contains adult language and content; therefore, children under the age of three will not be admitted.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for SHSU students and senior citizens. Group rates are also available.

For more information, call the UTC Box Office at 936.294.1339.


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Seminars To Give Money-Saving Energy Tips

Three family and consumer science assistant professors will help Huntsville families learn how to save money with “low cost, no cost” energy tips that allow for comfortable living during three workshops.

On Thursday (Nov. 20), Claudia Sealey-Potts will present “food selection and preparation” at 1 p.m., followed by courses on “managing the (energy) budget,” presented by Paula Tripp at 1 p.m. on Dec. 4, and “clothing selection and care,” presented by Janis White at 6 p.m. on Dec. 9.

All three presentations are approximately 30 minutes and will be held at the Huntsville Head Start, located at 125 FM 980.

The three professors, along with assistant professor Laura Burleson, are giving the presentations as part of a collaborative project through a grant the four received from Entergy as “a way to draw on our diverse content areas while also being of service to the community,” according to Tripp.

“The information we provide includes many low-cost, no-cost strategies that individuals and families can use in their home that will reduce energy consumption while also increasing their comfort,” she said. “Our goal was to provide information that would require little or no expense, yet help with overall energy management in the home to reduce usage and hence costs.

“That's information we can all use,” Tripp said.

The event is open to the public, and while reserving a place is not required, it is suggested to ensure there are enough materials for all participants.

Door prizes will be given, and refreshments will be served.

For more information, call 936.294.1242.


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Campus To Open For Potential Undergrad, Grad Students

Prospective students and parents will have the opportunity to visit the Sam Houston State University campus to see what the university has to offer on Saturday (Nov. 22).

Saturdays @ Sam, sponsored by the Visitor Center, will begin with check-in and a parent coffee from 8-9 a.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum, followed by a 30-minute opening session at 9 a.m.

Throughout the day, students and their parents can meet with academic advisers at the university’s Student Advising and Mentoring Center, have academic sessions with two different colleges of potential majors, tour residence halls and the campus, attend an organizations fair, and get information from various departments on campus.

Also that day, students interested in getting a master’s degree in forensic science can tour the Chemistry and Forensic Science Building and laboratories, meet with faculty and currently enrolled students and get information on the admissions process.

The Master of Science in forensic science open house will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on the second floor of the Chemistry and Forensic Science Building.

Breakfast and lunch items will be available for purchase throughout the day at the Johnson Coliseum concession stands. Lunch will also be available from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Café Belvin for $5.50, as well as at the Paw Print.

The next Saturday @ Sam will be held on March 28, 2009.

Registration forms, online registration, directions to the university and more information is available online at

For more information on Saturdays @ Sam, call 936.294.1844 or e-mail, and for more information on the graduate school open house, contact Tess Johnson at 936.294.4326 or


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School Of Music To Feature New Quartet

Four SHSU School of Music faculty members will perform old and new masterworks by such composers as Haydn, Dvorak and Shostakovich on Tuesday (Nov. 18).

The Faculty String Quartet will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church.

The group is a newly formed ensemble that includes new music faculty members Javier Pinell and Naomi Gjevre, playing the violin, as well as Lisa Burrell, playing, and Daniel Saenz, playing cello.

Admission is free.

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


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Thanksgiving Break Begins Winding Down Of Semester

SHSU will take a break Nov. 27-28, when the university will close in celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Faculty members and students get an extra day to celebrate, with no classes being held on Nov. 26.

Residence halls will close at 10 p.m. on Nov. 25 and reopen on Nov. 30.

When students return to class on Dec. 1, they will have just eight more days of class in the fall semester.

A final exam study day has been reserved for Dec. 12, followed by finals Dec. 15-18.

Winter commencement will be held Dec. 19, at 6 p.m. for the College of Business Administration and on Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. for the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences and at 2 p.m. for the colleges of Education and Criminal Justice.

All three ceremonies will be held in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.


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Golden Key Inducts More Than 250

The SHSU chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society recently added 272 new and three honorary members to the organization.

Honorary inductees College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean John de Castro, professor of operations management Vic Sower and associate professor of communication studies Frances Brandau-Brown were among those honored on Nov. 11 in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

De Castro also served as keynote speaker during the ceremony.

Membership in the Golden Key International Honour Society is limited to those students who are classified as either a junior or senior and are in the top 15 percent of the class.

The Golden Key International Honour Society, “recognized around the world as a great privilege,” invites new students to join the program each year, according to Golden Key president Nicole Lozano.

The organization currently has 360 chapters across seven regions around the globe.

For more information, contact Lozano at 512.731.2006, or William Green, faculty adviser, at 936.294.1267.


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Send Update Items Here

Information for the SHSU Update can be sent to the Office of Communications electronically at or to any of the media contacts listed below.

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 staff ample time to make necessary contacts and write the story.

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



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SHSU Media Contacts: Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Nov. 14, 2008
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to




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