SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 5



Watts To Address Campus On Wednesday

Former congressman and current political analyst J.C. Watts will share his thoughts on “Leadership Lessons from the Sidelines and Aisles of Congress” with the SHSU and Huntsville communities on Wednesday (Oct. 8).

The 13th President’s Speaker Series lecture will be held at 11 a.m. in the Beto Criminal Justice Center’s Killinger Auditorium.

Watts—whose varied career has included being a professional football player with the Canadian Football League, a youth minister and associate pastor, and a corporate consultant—most recently serves as the chairman for the J.C. Watts Companies. His firm provides strategic focus and program leadership to the company’s business partnerships, joint ventures, engagements, alliances and initiatives.

A Republican who served Oklahoma’s 4th District in the U.S. Congress from 1995 to 2003 and was reportedly mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate for John McCain, Watts made headlines in June for voicing his unhappiness with his party and stating that he might not vote for McCain.

During his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, he was elected by his peers to serve as chairman of the Republican Conference, the fourth-ranking leadership position in the majority party in the House and a position once held by Dick Cheney, Jack Kemp and Gerald Ford.

Called a “political visionary,” Watts is a regular contributor on CNN’s “Situation Room,” a frequent guest on national radio shows and writes a twice-monthly column for more than a dozen newspapers, bringing an informed viewpoint and relentless passion to issues of fiscal discipline, national defense, education, citizenship and patriotism, as well as analysis of the 2008 election.

The President’s Speaker Series was begun in 2002 to bring speakers to campus who have lived successful and principled lives.

For more information, call the President's Office at 936.294.1013.


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Health Center To Offer Free Flu Shots For Students

To protect against the upcoming flu season, the SHSU Student Health Center will offer free influenza vaccinations for students on Wednesday (Oct. 8) and Thursday (Oct. 9).

The vaccines will be administered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Atrium. Separate days, Oct. 14-15, have been designated for faculty and staff vaccinations.

In order to receive a flu shot, students must present their student identification card (Bearkat OneCard) and are asked to come prepared by wearing sleeves that can be easily adjusted to expose the shoulder.

“There will be an area to disrobe with privacy screens, but an easily accessible injection site will make the process faster and more comfortable,” said SHC health programming coordinator Sarah Hanel.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that can lead to mild-to-severe illness and possibly even death.
“In addition to the flu vaccine, the most essential things students can do to avoid the spread of flu is to consistently wash their hands, avoid rubbing their noses, eyes and mouths and continue a healthy lifestyle,” Hanel said.

"With approaching exams and deadlines, students’ stress levels become escalated, and it is important to effectively cope with stress because high levels can weaken the immune system and increase a person’s susceptibility to illness," she said. "Our goal is to minimize the spread of the flu on campus and keep students healthy and in class. The only cost to students wanting the vaccine is their time spent waiting in line."

The vaccine will not be administered to any person younger than 17 years old or who is pregnant or nursing.

Supplies are limited and will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about the influenza vaccine or the administration process, visit or call 936.294.1805.


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Distinguished Educator Nominations Due Oct. 31

The SHSU College of Education is seeking alumni educators who have made significant contributions to the field for its “2009 Distinguished Educator of the Year” awards.

Nominations will be accepted until Oct. 31 in five categories: Distinguished Elementary Teacher, Distinguished Secondary Teacher, Distinguished Support Professional, Distinguished Administrator/Supervisor and Friend of Education.

Support professionals include, but are not limited to, counselors, specialists, diagnosticians and librarians; and the Friend of Education award recognizes individuals or businesses that have made a significant contribution to the field of education.

Nominees must be an SHSU College of Education alumnus and have demonstrated expertise or outstanding service, either current or retired, in the classroom, school, district and/or community. The Friend of Education is not required to be an SHSU alumnus.

A letter of recommendation describing why the nominee should receive a Distinguished Educator of the Year Award should also be included with the application.

Self-nominations are also welcome.

A semi-formal, black tie optional ceremony recognizing award winners and nominees will be held on March 7, 2009, in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

Nominations forms are available online and should be submitted to SHSU College of Education; Attn: Event Coordinator; Box 2119; Huntsville, TX, 77341; or by fax to 936.294.1102.

For more information, contact Sherry Hirsch, COE events coordinator, at or 936.294.1101.


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International Prof To Discuss Currencies’ Values

David McMillan, professor of finance in the University of St. Andrews’ School of Management, will examine the behavior of exchange rates in the value of the dollar in terms of key foreign currencies on Thursday (Oct. 9).

"The Confusing Time-Series Behavior of Real Exchange Rates: Are Asymmetries Important?," part of the Economics Seminar Series, will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. in Smith-Hutson Building Room 139.

“Economists have had trouble explaining the behavior of exchange rates,” said Darren Grant, SHSU assistant professor of economics. “So McMillan is trying a new statistical technique, that allows temporary increases in the exchange rate to play out (evolve in time) differently than temporary decreases will.

“He finds this helps us understand better how exchange rates develop over time,” Grant said.

The talk will put into context the “remarkable behavior of the U.S. dollar over the last few years,” including the enormous decline followed by a recent appreciation.

McMillan’s research on such topics as time-series modeling of intra-day financial data, volatility forecasting, interest rate dynamics and the relationship between financial and macroeconomic variables has been widely published in both national and international journals.

Founded in 1413, the University of St. Andrews is Scotland’s first university.

For more information on the lecture, contact Grant at 936.294.1265.


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Archaeologist To Dig Into Excavation During Lecture

Jeff Durst, staff archaeologist for the Texas Historical Commission and field director of the Fort St. Louis Project, will discuss the two-year excavation site of French explorer LaSalle's colony during a presentation on Thursday (Oct. 9).

The lecture, held in honor of Archaeology Month, will be at 7 p.m. at the Katy and E. Don Walker, Sr., Education Center Auditorium.

Fort St. Louis was established in 1685, when French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, landed in Matagorda Bay, Texas, 400 miles away from his target in the Mississippi River, where he had hoped to establish a colony to maintain France’s claim of the Louisiana Territory.

The number of settlers there dwindled down after some difficulties, eventually leading to LaSalle’s assassination by his own men, and finally, the remaining settlers were attacked by the Karankawa Indians, according to the THC Web site.

The Spanish later built a presidio directly over the remains of the French fort.

Since the THC began its excavation of the site, archeologists have made a number of discoveries and unearthed tens of thousands of artifacts, including cannons, musket balls, gunflints, pottery, coins and many other items used by the colonists.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Other Archaeology Month events include an archaeology fair for Sam Houston Elementary School students on Oct. 17 and a Texas Historical Commission exhibit, currently on display, that highlights the LaSalle archaeological project, among other THC programs.

The Walker Education Center is located at 1402 19th St.

For more information, call the Sam Houston Memorial Museum at 936.294.1832.


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Lecturer To Discuss Algebra’s Chinese History

Roger Hart, assistant professor in the department of history and Asian studies at the University of Texas at Austin, will discuss his research in the history of Chinese mathematics and early Chinese linear algebra on Monday (Oct. 6).

“Reconstructing the Early Development of Determinants in China: Evidence from the Nine Chapters of Mathematical Methods and Later Commentaries," a Physics Colloquium presentation, will be held from 3-4 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 209. The event was originally scheduled for Sept. 15 but was changed due to Hurricane Ike.

Hart earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, respectively, as well as his doctorate in Chinese history and the history of science from the University of California, Los Angeles.

One of his current research projects, the completed “Early History of Linear Algebra: Chinese Sources” is a book-length manuscript tracing early developments in linear algebra, according to his Web site.

“While linear algebra is one of the core courses in most university undergraduate mathematics curricula, no book-length history has been written on its early development,” he says on the site.

The project, he says, contributes “to our understanding of the history of an important branch of mathematics and also presents an important example of the non-Western sources of modern mathematics and science.”

For more information on the colloquium, contact Barry Friedman, professor of physics, at 936.294.1604.


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Districts To Meet Prospective Teachers At Oct. 8 Fair

More than 59 school districts from across the state will be seeking qualified educators during Career Services' Fall Teacher Job Fair on Wednesday (Oct. 8).

Representatives from schools and districts of all sizes, including many Houston-area schools, will be at the fair, which will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the Johnson Coliseum.

In addition, representatives from Educational Service Centers for Regions 3, 4 and 6, as well as Kidventure Camps, will also be available to talk with students.

Students and alumni are encouraged to dress professionally and to bring numerous resume copies.

Students may also research school districts and their career opportunities, as well as access to a list of Web site addresses, in advance through "Jobs 4 Kats Quick Links," which requires registration.

For more information, call Career Services at 936.294.1713.


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Rural Center To Hold Informational Meeting

Gene Theodori, director for the Center for Rural Studies: Research and Outreach, will discuss the new center and some of the things it will do on Wednesday (Oct. 8).

The informational meeting will be held from 2-4 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 315 and is open to all SHSU faculty and staff who have an interest in “rurality” or who may wish to become affiliated with the center.

Created earlier this year, the Center for Rural Studies offers a broad range of policy research and recommendations, as well as outreach educational and technical assistance programs, to entities such as local governments, community development corporations, economic development corporations, chambers of commerce, and other regional, state and private partners.

Issues the center can help address include community-based planning; environmental and natural resource planning and policy; rural and small town government; recreation policy; ecotourism; law enforcement; education policy and school financial referenda; transportation; health care; and public/private collaboration for rural areas.

Refreshments will be provided during the meeting.

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Theodori at 936.294.4143 or by e-mail at


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‘Barteachers’ To Pour Up Safe Alcohol Tips

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative will serve up shots of knowledge at their “Party Bar” on Tuesday (Oct. 7).

The portable party lab will be set up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

During the event, “barteachers” will provide students with information on such issues such as predator drugs, drinking games, taking shots, serving sizes, blood alcohol concentration, binge drinking and alcohol consumption.

The “Party Bar” is part of the Six Weeks of Alcohol Awareness Training program, an educational series aiming to increase awareness of alcohol abuse issues within the Bearkat community.

Through SWAAT, students earn prizes by attending events, which accumulate as they attend more programs.

For more information, contact Rosanne Keathley, ADAI coordinator, at 936.294.1171 or

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Alumni Relations To Party With Faculty, Staff

The Office of Alumni Relations will say “Aloha!” to the new semester on Tuesday (Sept. 16) during its annual Party on the Patio.

The “welcome back” for faculty and staff members, rescheduled because of Hurricane Ike, will be held from 4-6 p.m. on the Alumni Patio of the John R. Ragsdale Visitor and Alumni Center, located at the corner of the Estill Building and University Avenue.

Appetizers and drinks will be served, and attendees will be given the opportunity to become members of the Alumni Association for a reduced fee of $25.

For more information, call 936.294.1841.


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Workshops To Give Music, Painting Lessons

The Office of Continuing Education will offer the basics of guitar and piano playing, as well as faux painting, with three workshops on Wednesday (Oct. 8).

“Instant Guitar for Hopelessly Busy Adults and Teens” will be held from 4-6:30 p.m.

Instructed by Craig Coffman, participants will learn the chord-playing basics that will allow them to play their favorite songs right away.

“Many young people want to learn the guitar but the time and money involved in taking private lessons keeps them away,” Coffman said. “With this class I am able to give them enough information and tools that they can go home right away and teach themselves what they want to learn.”

The class is designed for the absolute beginner, so students will not need to know anything about music or the guitar to participate.
From 6-8:30 p.m., Linda Coffman will reveal the secrets of the pros during a “Faux Panting” class.

Designed for beginners, the class will show students how to create perfect ceilings and corners, use glaze with double rollers and do numerous looks such as “leather” and “old world.”

Coffman has been in the wallpapering and faux-painting business for more than 18 years, and her work is featured in businesses, hotels, restaurants, bed and breakfasts and homes throughout Minnesota and Arizona.

Finally, from 6:40-9:40 p.m., Craig Coffman will teach participants how to play music on the piano during the “How To Play Piano in Three Hours” workshop.

Revealing how the pros play, Coffman will provide accessible and practical materials that allow a person with little or no experience to start on the road to professional playing skills.

“While knowing how to read the treble clef is a good foundation, many students take the workshop with no prior piano experience,” he said. “Students will learn how to use chords instead of traditional note-by-note music reading.

“They’ll learn to use sheet music in an entirely new way that is extremely simple, and they’ll discover many of the magical shortcuts that the pros use to enhance their playing.”

Coffman has taught piano privately for more than 20 years, and his workshop has brought seldom taught and highly sought after information to more than 100,000 participants nationwide.

For more information or to register, call Continuing Education at 936.294.3701.


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Tour Showcases Fall Constellations

The physics department will continue its public tour of “what’s currently up in the autumn night sky” during the next planetarium series program on Friday (Oct. 10).

The “Autumn Sky” and “Astronomyths,” which show attendees which constellations, stars and planets they can expect to see in the upcoming weeks, will be held at 7 p.m. in the Planetarium, located in Farrington Building Room F102.

“Astronomyths, takes the visitor on a journey with a grandfather and his grandson on a camping trip under the stars where they let their imaginations soar into the heavens with the heroic tales, such as Perseus and his rescue of Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus, with a bit of science mixed in,” said Michael Prokosch, staff laboratory assistant for the physics department.

For the autumn series, Prokosch will identify the constellations of Pegasus, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Pisces, Aquarius and Aries.

The show will last approximately one hour, and admission is free.

The Planetarium seats up to 29 visitors and includes a dome that is approximately 18 feet in diameter and more than 20 feet high in the center, according to Prokosch.

Other showings for the semester will be held Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12 and Dec. 23, all at 7 p.m. An additional 2 p.m. showing will be held on Dec. 23.

For more information on current show times for the Planetarium or the Observatory, call 936.294.3664 or e-mail Prokosch at


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SAM Center To Advise Students For Grad School

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center will help students prepare for graduate school with an informational night on Monday (Oct. 6).
The meeting will be held from 5-6 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 307.

The workshop will discuss the application timeline and hints regarding letters of recommendation, writing a personal statement and financial aid. Time will also be reserved for a question and answer session.

Space is limited, and students must call or stop by the SAM Center to sign up.

For more information, call 936.294.4444 or visit the SAM Center, located in Academic Building IV Room 210.


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McNair Scholars Present At Research Conference

Eight students in the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program recently presented their research to the campus community in preparation for regional and national conferences they will attend later in the year.

Participating students included Kevin Browning, who discussed “Vive La France!!! The Role of French Troops in the Continental Army 1776-1783;” Ashley Clark, who discussed “Evaluating the Effectiveness of a 3-4 Month Texas Prisoner Reentry Program;” Matthew Cooper, who discussed “How Has the Introduction of Genetically Modified Food Affected Local Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa?;” and Travis Franks, who discussed “William Faulkner’s Abner Snopes: A Historical Approach.”

Also, Juan Garcia, who discussed “Addition of the NADH Dehydrogenase Gene and 16S ribosomal RNA to an Existing Molecular Data Set to Help Determine Higher Level Relationships within Gelechioidea (Lepidoptera);” Elizabeth Hartwell, who discussed “The Effect of Facial Expressions on the Accuracy of Facial Recognition;” and Alicia Kennedy, who discussed “An Analysis of Fossil Lizards From Southern Africa.”

Other presenters included Jonathan Miller, who discussed “Haiti: An Investigation of Human Rights Violations;” Douglas Moore, who discussed “On the Production of Gravitational Waves by Electromagnetic Fields;” Kristina Nungaray, who discussed “Transport Response Elicitations and Subsequent Behaviors in rat Pups: Te Effects of Neurochemical Manipulation;” and Joanna Shaw Rose, who discussed “Development and Validation of the Acceptance of Racist Sexual Stereotypes (ARSS) Scale.”

“As part of the McNair Program, scholars are required to collaborate on a research project with a faculty mentor and present it to the campus community at the end of the summer,” said Lydia Fox, McNair program director.

The McNair Program was established to prepare students for a doctoral education, serving students from low-income families, first-generation college students, and underrepresented minority students.

Faculty mentors for the program include Jeff Anastasi, psychology; Susannah Bruce, history; Sibyl Bucheli, biology; Rhonda Callaway, political science; Patrick Lewis, biology; Audrey Miller, psychology; Holly Miller, criminal justice; Isabel Ruiz, economics and international business; Joel Walker, physics; Chris Wilson, psychology; and Gene Young, English.

For more information on the program, call 936.294.3279, e-mail or visit


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Send Update Items Here

Information for the SHSU Update can be sent to the Office of Public Relations 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 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: Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Oct. 3, 2008
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to




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Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to



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