SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 26



Novelist To Visit Campus For Reading

An up-and-coming novelist who is receiving national recognition will share her writings during a public reading on Tuesday (Oct. 28).

Angie Cruz, author of “Let It Rain Coffee” and “Soledad,” will read from her work at noon that day in Austin Hall.

Born in New York of Dominican heritage, Angie Cruz is one of a growing number of writers of Caribbean descent to gain national attention.

Her novels “Soledad” and “Let It Rain Coffee” explore the experiences of Dominican immigrants in New York and the social and political history of the Dominican Republic.

Cruz graduated from the New York University Master of Fine Arts program and has contributed numerous fiction and non-fiction works to The New York Times, Latina Magazine, and Callaloo.

She was awarded the Camargo Fellowship, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and the Barbara Deming Fund for Women and has recently adapted “Soledad” into a film that has been optioned by Nueva York Productions.

Cruz currently splits her time between New York; Turin, Italy; and College Station, Texas, where she works as an assistant professor at Texas A&M.

While on campus, Cruz will meet with students in April Shemak’s “Studies in World Fiction” course, who have read “Let it Rain Coffee” as part of the class this semester, as well as Scott Kaukonen’s creative writing class.

The free event is sponsored by the departments of English and foreign languages.

For more information, contact Shemak, assistant professor of English, at 936.294.1432 or


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Math Professor To Give Physics Colloquium

SHSU mathematics professor Jianzhong Wang will provide an “Introduction to High Spectral Image Analysis” on Monday (Oct. 27).

The physics colloquium lecture will be held from 3-4 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 209.

Hyperspectral images collect information from across the electromagnetic spectrum.

“Unlike the human eye, which just sees visible light, hyperspectral imaging is more like the eyes of the mantis shrimp, which can see visible light as well as from the ultraviolet to infrared,” Wang said. “Hyperspectral capabilities enable the mantis shrimp to recognize different types of coral, prey, or predators, all which may appear as the same color to the human eye.”

These images are acquired by hyperspectral sensors, which look at objects using a vast portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

“Certain objects leave unique 'fingerprints' across the electromagnetic spectrum,” Wang said. “These 'fingerprints' are known as spectral signatures and enable identification of the materials that make up a scanned object.

“For example, having the spectral signature for oil helps mineralogists find new oil fields,” he said. “Hyperspectral image analysis mines the useful information from hyperspectral images for application in agriculture, mineralogy, physics, and surveillance.”

One of SHSU’s Faculty Excellence in Research Award winners (2007), Wang has taught at SHSU since 1994. He previously taught at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Wuhan University, in China.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Peking University, his master’s from Zhejiang University and his doctorate from Wuhan University, all in China.

For more information on the lecture, call the physics department at 936.294.1601.

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Student Services To Scare During Halloween Fair

Student Services will haunt the Lowman Student Center on Friday (Oct. 31) with a Halloween parade, costume contest and other games and treats from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Halloween Scare Fair will kick off with the parade at 10 a.m. in front of the Lowman Student Center, during which time current students can participate for a chance to win up to a $25 gift card from iTunes during the “Best Halloween Costume” contest.

All costume contest participants will receive a Kat-Dracula T-shirt.

Also between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Student Services departments will offer games, treats and other free items for those who stop by their offices.

Offices within Student Services include Bearkat OneCard Services, Counseling Services, Health Services, Lowman Student Center, Recreational Sports, Student Activities, Students’ Legal & Mediation Services and the Student Money Management Center.

The Halloween Scare Fair is open to the entire campus community.

In addition, Student Services will also host a “Best Decorated Office” competition for all departments and offices. Participating offices should visit the Student Services Web site, at, to sign up.

Judging will begin on Wednesday (Oct. 29).

For more information on any of these events, call 936.294.1784.


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Fellows, Local Schools To Mock Presidential Election

While the rest of the country is gearing up to decide between John McCain and Barack Obama as the next United States president, the SHSU Political Science Junior Fellows will give local school children the opportunity to have their say as well.

Beginning Monday (Oct. 27) the junior fellows, in conjunction with the Huntsville YMCA, will host its first mock election for students at Samuel Houston Elementary, Estella Stewart Elementary, Gibbs Pre-K Center and Mance Park Middle School.

Approximately 2,000 mock ballots will be cast in the schools, which cover students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, during the process, which will take place through Thursday (Oct. 30).

“We think of voting as gateway engagement, a low-investment act of involvement,” said junior fellows president Megan Bryant. “We know that people who vote are also more likely to be engaged in their community—volunteering, serving on boards, and generally organizing to make their community and country a better place. We hope that the mock-voting exercise plants that seed.”

In order to make the process as realistic as possible, the group will have students sign in and show identification before being allowed to vote, and campaign materials will not be allowed near the voting site.

The children, who will vote only for state and federal candidates, will be encouraged to learn about the candidates and issues before casting a vote from teachers, parents, friends, newspapers and broadcast media, according to Mike Yawn, fellows adviser.

The Political Science Junior Fellows is a civic-minded organization that seeks to promote education, public service, and professionalism.

For more information contact Megan Bryant at 713.859.3756 or by e-mail at


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Masquerade To Celebrate Halloween In Literary Style

Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society, will give the community the opportunity to masquerade as such notables as Mark Twain, Scout Finch, John Yossarian or Anna Karenina on Thursday (Oct. 30).

The Literary Masquerade will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Old Main Pit.

Attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite literary character of any genre, for fun, games, prizes and refreshments, including “homemade baked goods,” according to Travis Franks, Sigma Tau Delta president.

“We will be having a costume contest for the best costume depicting a fictional literary character or famous author,” he said.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Franks at or visit


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Firefest To Add Some Heat To Rivalry Game Week

The Student Activities department will “fire” students up for the Battle of the Piney Woods during its annual spirit rally on Thursday (Oct. 30).

Firefest will be held at 7 p.m. at Intramural Field No. 3.

The event will get warmed up with a professional fireworks display and a bonfire, followed by performances by the Bearkat Marching Band, the SHSU cheerleaders, Sammy the Bearkat and the Orange Pride dance team.

Bearkat football players will also be on hand during the event, which will also include wax hands, air brush T-shirts, henna tattoos, free food and other giveaways.

In addition, the Bearkat OneCard Office will have a tent with a game where students can win giveaways, according to Student Activities manager Brandon Cooper.

Firefest is held annually to celebrate the SHSU versus Stephen F. Austin football game, which will be held on Saturday (Nov. 1).

The game, which will be broadcast on SLCTV-Channel 16, will begin at 2 p.m. at Bowers Stadium.

For more information, call 936.294.3861.


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Spanish Faculty To Celebrate Mexico’s ‘Dead’ Day

The foreign languages department will celebrate the “El día de los muertos” by serving a festive treat on Thursday and Friday (Oct. 30-31).

“The 31st of October is our Halloween, the eve of All Hallows, which is All Saints Day,” said Norma Williamson, Spanish pool faculty member. “A pre-Christian religious concept was that the division between the living and the dead was opened and that the dead returned briefly to visit their old homes around this time.

“So what we call Halloween, the Mexicans call the day of the dead,” she said.

For “El día de los muertos,” however, it is the dead who get the treats instead of the children.

“Families also go to the cemetery and leave the dead person's favorite food and drink, in small samples,” Williamson said. “The expanded tradition says that adults return on All Saints Day, Nov. 1, and children on All Souls Day, Nov. 2.”

For the Spanish program’s celebration, faculty will serve pan de muertos y café (sweet bread and coffee) on the third floor of the Evans Building on Thursday, beginning at 9:15 a.m., and on Friday, beginning at 8:50 a.m.

“Pan de muertos, or bread for the day of the dead is a traditional food for the day and may be eaten on the 31st, 1st or 2nd,” Williamson said. “It is usually a round roll with a little ball of dough on top representing the skull and an ‘x’ of dough representing the bones.”

While there, students, faculty and staff can also learn about the Mexican culture through art pieces from Williamson’s collection that are related to the traditional observance, including tin, clay and wooden figures.

“Since the dead after a while are only bones, most of the art figures for the day are skeletons, but they are doing what they did in life,” she said. “There is a wooden trumpet player. Of course a skeleton can't really play the trumpet because he has no lips!”

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


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President To Treat Faculty, Staff To Picnic

SHSU employees will get a Halloween treat, a free lunch, on Friday (Oct. 31) during the annual faculty and staff picnic.

The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Old Main Pit.

Employees are encouraged to wear orange to the picnic and will be served hot dogs and hamburgers.

The event was originally scheduled for Sept. 12 but was rescheduled due to the university closing for Hurricane Ike.

For more information, call the President’s Office at 936.294.3415.


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One-Act Plays To Showcase ‘No Exit,’ ‘House Of Yes’

The department of theatre and dance will present a one-act existential play and a one-act dark comedy with “No Exit” and “The House of Yes” Tuesday (Oct. 28) through Saturday (Nov. 1).

The Raven Repertory performances will be held at 8 p.m. each evening with, a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, in the University Theatre Center Showcase Theatre.

Jean Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” tells the story of Vincent Cradeau, Inez Serrano and Estelle Delauney, who find themselves trapped in a hot, small locked room which contains their divans, a fireplace, a bricked in window and a piece of sculpture.

The three must then decipher the nature of the crimes that have condemned them to such a place.

Directed by senior theatre major Holly Johnson, the play features Jack Ivy as Vincent, Chelsea McCurdy as Inez and Angela Bell as Estelle.

Wendy MacLeod’s dark comedy, “The House of Yes,” takes place at the Pascal family home at Thanksgiving.

As a hurricane rages outside, the Pascals are greeted by the return of Marty Pascal and his fiancé Lesley, and things take an ominous turn as disagreements arise between the couple and Jackie-O, Marty’s twin sister.

Dealing with a family that has never been told “no,” the author uses humor and horror to slowly reveal the family’s darkest secrets.

“The House of Yes” stars Joe Shepherd as Marty, Adrian Anderson as Lesley, Sarah Reinhardt as Jackie-O, as well as theatre majors James Smith as Anthony, and Katie Stefaniak as Mrs. Pascal.

It is directed by senior theatre major A.J. Salazar.

The technical elements of the shows are designed by SHSU technical theatre majors Michael Weiss (set), Nicholas Custer (lighting), J.R. Carson (sound), Aaron Kays (costumes for “The House of Yes”) and Jenni Weeks (costumes for “No Exit”).

Tickets are $8 for general admission for both one-act plays, which will run consecutively for each performance, and there will be no reserved seating.

The plays contain adult content and language, and children under the age of three will not be admitted.

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


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Art Exhibit To Bare Bears

Three artists will show the “bear” necessities of their works during an exhibit beginning Monday (Oct. 27) in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

A reception for “Bare Bear,” which features the works of Derek Coté, Benjamin Entner and Jason Godeke, will be held on Wednesday (Oct. 29), from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery. Coté will also give an informal gallery talk during the reception on his installation “God is Canadian.”

For the exhibit, a bear is utilized by all three artists in some facet.

Coté studied at Virginia Commonwealth University and Western Washington University, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees, respectively.

The challenges faced by moving often as a child in Canada have put a mark on Coté’s sculptures, installations and drawings.

Through the investigation of general and specific sites, he presents conditions that provide a platform for questioning individual place, displacement and what it means to belong, according to Coté.

Entner, an artist currently working in Central New York, creates works that result from play and experimentation or are self-reflective of the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

By creating a presence of an object or installation that interrupts or intervenes in the person’s passive viewing of the piece, Entner said he hopes to have them actively experience it.

Godeke, who grew up in Northern California, has long been intrigued by toy figures, often painting tableaux of figurines arranged with fruit, flowers, boxes and other still-life material, including toys.

According to Godeke, his challenge is “to bring contemporary relevance to a timeworn mode of representation.”

He received his MFA at The State University of New York at Stony Brook and currently is an assistant professor of drawing and design at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania.

“Bare Bear” is open to the public and will be on display through Nov. 14.

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery is open Monday through Friday from noon until 5 p.m.

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


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Writers To Spend Night Reading At The Center

The Sam Houston Writing Center will host its next informal, after-hours reading forum for local writers on Sunday (Nov. 2).

“Writing @ the Center” will be held at 8 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 111.

The event is open to all members of the SHSU and Huntsville communities who are interested in sharing their creative works—be it poetry, short fiction, plays or memoirs—or supporting the writing efforts of others.

Turnout for past reading nights has been good, according to center writing consultant Dana Allen, with somewhere between 25 and 35 participants for the first two.

“It's also been a great mix of students who like to play around with words and do poetry or journaling or try their hands at fiction, to poets or fiction writers from the Huntsville area who aren't students, to people in some of SHSU's creative writing programs,” she said. “We get a good variety of things presented from a diverse group, men, women, students, area residents, professors; we've also seen age and racial diversity as well, along with varied subject matter.

“It's fun, and always interesting,” she said.

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

For more information, call the Sam Houston Writing Center at 936.294.3680 or e-mail


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Spring Registration Opens Nov. 7

Registration for the spring 2009 semester will begin on Nov. 7.

Honors students will be allowed to register for classes that day, followed by doctoral, graduate, post-baccalaureate and seniors on Nov. 10-11; juniors on Nov. 12; sophomores on Nov. 13; and freshmen on Nov. 14.

Registration, which will close at 4 p.m. on Dec. 4, will open at 5:30 p.m. for each classification and follow the alphabetical schedule published in the Schedule of Classes.

Students subject to mandatory advisement must see an adviser before they can register for the spring.

Advisement appointments can be made in the Student Advising and Mentoring Center, located in Academic Building IV Room 210, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each school day, as well as from 5-6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, by calling 936.294.4444.

Walk-ins will also be accepted during the registration period; however, waiting times may be longer for walk-ins. To find the advising location for a particular major, visit

Registration assistance will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Registrar's Computer Lab, located in Estill Building Room 331.

For more information, call the Registrar's Office 936.294.1052.


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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. 24, 2008
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to




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