SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 19



Book Reading To Highlight Prof ’s First Novel

Terry Thibodeaux, professor of communication studies, will read from and sign copies of his first novel, Catherine’s Cadeau, on Thursday (Oct. 23).

The event, hosted by the Lowman Student Center, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the LSC’s third floor atrium.

After the reading, the Barnes and Noble University Bookstore will have copies of the novel available to purchase for $26.95, which can be signed by Thibodeaux.

Catherine’s Cadeau is a historical fiction novel that tells the story of Monique LeBlanc, who travels back in time to experience the horrific treatment of the French Acadians by the British government in 1755 Nova Scotia.

Though the premise is fiction, the historical aspects are true. After their expulsion from Canada, a large number of these Acadians settled in Louisiana and developed the culture known as Cajun.

Thibodeaux, a Cajun descendent and scholar of the culture for more than 20 years, co-authored the book with Ann Davidson. It was published in September by SHSU’s Texas Review Press.

The reading and signing are open to all faculty, staff and students, and lunch will be provided.

For more information, contact Gayle Bullard, LSC reservations coordinator, at 936.294.1760 or


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Departments To Recognize Math Professor’s Retirement

The SHSU mathematics and statistics and athletics departments will host a retirement reception for professor Tommy Davis on Oct. 29.
The reception will be held from 2-4 p.m. in Austin Hall.

Davis, who retired in May, taught at SHSU for more than 43 years. During his tenure at SHSU, Davis served on a number of university committees, as well as operated the clock for football and basketball home games.

He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SHSU and his doctorate in mathematics from the University of Texas.

Davis is a 1996 recipient of SHSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award and a 2008 recipient of the Alumni Association’s Service Award.

Cards and letters may be sent to Angie Moore through campus mail to SHSU Box 2206 until Oct. 22.


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Spanish Prof To Discuss Famous Cuban Soap Opera

Spanish professor Rafael Samuell-Muñoz will discuss the television sensation that swept Cuba in the late 1940s on Monday (Oct. 20).
The foreign languages scholarly seminar presentation, “The Greatest Cuban Radio Soap Opera: 'The Right to Be Born' Sixty Years Later," will be from 3-5 p.m. in Evans Building Room 317.

“The Right to Be Born” was a soap opera that was broadcast for the first time in Cuba on April 1, 1948, which followed the life of Albertico Limonta, a young white man who was supposed to have been killed shortly after his birth by a man hired by his grandfather.

“The child was saved from being murdered and raised by 'Mom' Dolores, a black woman who had previously worked as a maid for the child's grandparents,” Muñoz said. “Years later, Mr. Limonta who had become a famous physician, met by chance a female who was indeed a cousin. Both were totally unaware of this blood link.

“Ironically, she introduced him to his maternal family, and when their common grandfather became ill, Mr. Limonta was hired to treat him,” he said.

The soap opera was enormously successful in Cuba, “to the point that for an entire year nobody planned a social event between the hours of 8-9 p.m., the time in which it was broadcast nationally,” Muñoz said.

Later 'The Right to Be Born' equally succeeded in all Latin America, the United States, France, Spain and Portugal, as well as other countries.

Mexican Televisa made several versions of it, and it was also adapted twice to the large screen by Mexico's Film Industry.

Muñoz met the show’s author, Félix B. Caignet, in the late 1970s and recently published a conversation the two had in Havana 30 years before in “Otro Lunes,” a literary journal.

“(At the time,) I was a very young man and Mr. Caignet already enjoyed the well deserved reputation of being the absolute master of the Cuban radio and TV melodrama,” Muñoz said.

Caignet was also an accomplished song composer. His "Te odio" ("I hate you") was made famous by Bing Crosby in the U.S.

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


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McNair Director To Share ‘Personal’ Life Obstacles

McNair Scholars program director Lydia Fox will discuss the obstacles she faced as a first-generation, Hispanic student from a low-income background and how she overcame those obstacles on Wednesday (Oct. 22).

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center’s “Up Close and Personal” lecture will be held at noon at the Farrington Pit.

Fox earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and both her master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas Tech.

She came to SHSU in 2004 as the program director for the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, which is designed to provide talented low-income, first-generation and ethnic minority undergraduate students with effective preparation for doctoral study.

“I will also talk about my job now in promoting the success of these three groups of students as part of my duties with the McNair program,” she said.

Fox also has taught in SHSU’s psychology department periodically since joining the staff.

The “Up Close and Personal” speaker series is a 30-minute lunchtime presentation designed to give students the opportunity to get to know faculty members outside the classroom.

For more information or to register, call the SAM Center at 936.294.4444.


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Miami Prof To Look At Economics Of Obesity

Pere Gomis-Porqueras, assistant professor of economics at the University of Miami, will discuss the economic effect of obesity on Friday (Oct. 24).

The fall Economics Seminar Series lecture, “A Macroeconomic Analysis of Obesity in the U.S.” will be held from 12:15-1:45 p.m. in Smith-Hutson Building Room 139.

Porqueras, who has taught on the UM faculty since 2001, earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.

He has also served as a visiting scholar for two Federal Reserve Banks, this year in St. Louis and in 2000 in Cleveland.

His areas of research interest include macroeconomics, monetary economics and monetary and fiscal policy.

For more information, contact Darren Grant, assistant professor in the department of economics and international business, at 936.294.1265.


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Education Block Applications To Open

Students looking to register for methods or literacy blocks for the spring semester can begin applying Nov. 1.

The applications for interdisciplinary studies (formerly known as academic studies) and secondary methods, as well as the literacy and special education blocks, will open beginning 8 a.m. that day and will close at 5 p.m. Dec. 1.

Eligible students enrolling in methods must apply by these dates and can do so through SamWeb by clicking on “Student Records,” “Methods Application,” and then choosing either the elementary or secondary application. Students should make sure the semester selection is set for spring 2009.

After verifying eligibility, students will be walked through a series of questions that must be answered, according to curriculum and instruction department secretary Susan Hayes.

“Make sure that you don’t leave any area blank,” she said. “In doing so, you will get an ‘unrecoverable error,’ and your application will not be delivered to us through the Nell system.”

Students should keep a copy of the confirmation sheet received after completing the application, which will show the educator preparation status.

The curriculum and instruction office will begin assigning students who are ready to be placed during the second week of December and an e-mail will be sent by the university showing the assigned sections based on the registration information.

“This application process does not register you for your classes,” Hayes said.

Literacy and SPD block applications are also located under SamWeb and “Student Records,” and then applicants should choose either the “literacy block” or “SPD block” applications and follow the instructions from there.

For more information on methods block application, call Hayes at 936.294.3896.

For more information, or for a list of eligibility requirements, on literacy and special education blocks, visit

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Music To Tune In To Concert, Competition

The SHSU School of Music will jazz up the week with a performance and a marching contest beginning Thursday (Oct. 23).

jazz ensemble
The SHSU Jazz Ensemble, directed by Aric Schneller (left), will perform "Kansas City Shout" and other pieces from a variety of musical periods during the fall jazz concert on Oct. 23.

The fall jazz concert will feature four groups—the SHSU Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band, Artistry In Rhythm and Jazz Improv Class—performing tunes from a variety of musical periods at 7:30 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

“This is an evening of music that will cover the genres of vocal, small group and big band jazz from the musical style periods of New Orleans, swing, bebop, cool, to modern,” said Aric Schneller, director of jazz studies.

Artistry In Rhythm, a student vocal ensemble, will bring some jazzy flavor to the “Star-Spangled Banner;” the Jazz Improvisation Class will present “Bags Groove;” the Jazz Ensemble will play “Kansas City Shout;” and the Jazz Lab Band will add “A Time For Love.”

Admission is $10 for the general public and $5 for SHSU students. Children under six, as well as SHSU faculty and staff members and music students with their attendance cards will be admitted free.

On Saturday (Oct. 25), approximately 20 area high school bands will visit the SHSU campus to perform and compete during the Sam Houston State Marching Festival.

Performances, judged by a “nationally-respected panel of adjudicators,” will kick off that day at 9:30 a.m. at Bowers Stadium, and will be held every 15-minutes, according to SHSU associate director of bands Alfredo Vélez III.

The Bearkat Marching Band will give the final preliminary exhibition of the day, at 4 p.m., followed by awards at 4:15 p.m. and finals at 6:30 p.m.

Competing high schools include C. E. King, Caney Creek, Clear Springs, Cypress Ranch, Dawson, Dekaney, Kirbyville, Magnolia, Magnolia West, Manvel, New Caney, Northbrook, Pasadena, Pasadena Memorial, Sam Rayburn, Sharpstown, Shepherd, Tarkington and Waller.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

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


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SAM Center To Start Second Study Series

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center will teach students to “study smart” with its second workshop series beginning on Monday (Oct. 20).

The Study Skills Workshop Series is comprised of six one-hour sessions that focus on studying smart, procrastination, time management, reading textbooks and note taking, test taking strategies and stress management.

Sessions will be held on a variety of days and times to accommodate student schedules.

All sessions will be held in the SAM Center, located in Academic Building IV Room 210.

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

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


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Ag Student Awarded For ‘Superior’ Service

Senior agricultural mechanization major Jordan Kiker was recently recognized for his “superior” student service by the Texas Section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

The Winnie native was presented the “Superior Ag Mechanization Student Service Award” on Oct. 8 in Austin.

Kiker was chosen by a selection committee from the organization based on his service to student organizations and the agricultural sciences department, his high grade point average and “all-around involvement in leadership activities,” according to SHSU assistant professor of agricultural mechanization Doug Kingman, who nominated him.

Among his accomplishments at SHSU, Kiker serves as the president of the Ag Mech club, is an undergraduate biodiesel researcher and helped to raise more than $10,000 in an 18-month period for one organization, Kingman said.


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Policarpo Helps SHSU ‘Actualize’ Agreements With Peru

Associate professor of Spanish Alcibiades Policarpo recently spent his sabbatical working to connect SHSU with four entities in Peru.

The former Peruvian police officer helped actualize or renegotiate agreements between SHSU and the National Pervuian Police, Agrarian University, Cayetano Heredia University and El Pacifico University.

The agreements will establish, or renewed, “professional, academic and teaching-studying exchanges for faculty as well as for students,” in psychology, criminal justice, biology, agriculture and business.

Policarpo is also working on an agreement between SHSU’s sociology department and the University of Cayetano Heredia.


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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
Oct. 17, 2008
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