SHSU Update For Week Of Sept. 28



SHSU To Break Ground On Performing Arts Building

The music, theatre and dance departments will become one step closer to having a new home on Thursday (Oct. 2), when SHSU will break ground for the construction of the new Performing Arts Center.

The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at the Fine Arts Courtyard, between the Music Building and the University Theatre Center.

After a few words by College of Arts and Sciences dean Jamie Hebert and SHSU president Jim Gaertner, a conga line, including students dressed in costumes from various arts productions, will lead attendees to receptions in the Music Building Atrium and UTC lobby, according to Maggie Collum, special events coordinator.

Representatives from The Texas State University System office, as well as the building’s architect and construction companies, WHR Architects, Inc. and SpawGlass Construction Corporation, respectively, will be on hand for the ground breaking.

The $38.5 million project will bring together the three programs in a 91,976 square foot facility that will include recital and concert halls, an outdoor performance area, practice and rehearsal rooms, costume storage and offices.

It is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2010 semester.

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


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Ambassadors Sought For New Education Program

The College of Education is recruiting students to promote its five departments as part of a new ambassador program.

Advised by Richard Henriksen Jr., COE ambassadors travel to high schools and junior colleges to recruit for the college, represent the dean at special events and are involved with the campus and community.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students,” said Susan Scheiner, research assistant and outreach coordinator. “Students will benefit by establishing relationships with veteran educators and SHSU faculty, gain leadership experience, as well as enhance their public speaking capabilities.”

Participants must be a major or minor within any of the COE departments, have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and be classified a sophomore or higher.

Applications, due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 1, can be picked up in Counselor Education Center Room 141.

For more information, contact Scheiner at 936.294.4821 or by e-mail at


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Conference To Address Asian Issues

Bih-jaw Lin, vice president of National Chengchi University, south of Taipei City, will discuss “Taiwan’s New Policy on Cross-Strait Relations under the New Administration" during the 37th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Conference of the Association of Asian Studies on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 3-4).

Registration for the conference, sponsored this year by the SHSU history department, will be held from 9-9:30 a.m. on Friday in Austin Hall, followed by lectures from professors from universities around the world on topics related to Asian countries.

On Friday evening, Lin will introduce the basic principals of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s policy on cross-strait relations with China. The lecture, which will be held via video conference, will be held at 7:15 p.m. in Academic Building I Room 213.

Saturday’s activities include more sessions on Asian-related issues, as well as a roundtable discussion on “The State of Asian Studies in the Southwest Region,” discussed by Rice University professor Rich Smith and University of Texas at Austin professors Patricia Maclachlan and Itty Abraham.

In addition, AAS president Robert Buswell will deliver a keynote address on “Korea ’s Impact on the East Asian Buddhist Traditions.”

Registration for the conference, open to members of the SHSU and Huntsville communities, is $60, which includes all meals. Sessions, including the Lin presentation, are free and open to the public.

For more information on individual sessions, visit or contact Tracy Steele, SHSU associate professor of history and conference coordinating committee member, at or 936.294.1480.


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Sister To Discuss Immigration Experiences

Religious Sister of Mercy Kathleen Erickson will discuss her views on immigration on Friday (Oct. 3) in Evans Building Room 105.
The lecture, rescheduled due to Hurricane Ike, will be held at noon.

“She will be speaking on her experiences with immigrant women who have been detained in the detention centers and generally her views regarding the immigration issue,” said Karen Douglas, associate professor of sociology. “Sister Erickson has traveled quite extensively speaking to people regarding the issues of immigration, putting a human face to the thorny and contentious issue.”

Erickson, who has a background in education and administration, has spent the last 17 years at the U.S./Mexico border and is the co-founder and former director of the Women’s Intercultural Center in Anthony, N.M., a place for immigrant women.

For more than two years she has provided spiritual counseling to undocumented women in detention, worked with the Border Network for Human Rights and Desert Humanitarians, and participated in the Border Institute for Religious Leaders.

For more information, contact Douglas at 936.294.1513 or or call the sociology department at 936.294.1512.


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Barnyard To Provide Ag Learning Experience For Kids

Elementary school-aged children will have the opportunity to learn about nutrition and animals during the 14th Annual Block and Bridle Children's Barnyard Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 1-2).

SHSU animal science club members will share their knowledge with more than 1,200 area children, ages 3-8 years old, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Indoor Rodeo Arena Complex, located at the Ag Center, along Interstate Highway 45.

The event includes walkthrough pens, where children can pet docile farm animals, sit on a horse or learn to rope, as well as educational stations that explain the nutritional importance of milk, eggs and meat.

SHSU students will also demonstrate agricultural science projects, and the Walker County 4H will also participate in the event.

"Agriculture has a huge impact on everyone's daily life whether they realize it or not," said Marcy Beverly, assistant professor of animal science. "You can't wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, or drive to school in the morning without something agricultural related."
The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call Beverly at 936.294.1222.


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Theatre To Show One-Act ‘Nightmares’

The department of theatre and dance will present the tales of two “nightmares,” one of an actor and another of a family who loses its patriarch in the Iraq war with two one-act plays, Wednesday through Saturday (Oct. 1-4).

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’s Showcase Theatre.

Christopher Durang’s comedy “The Actor’s Nightmare” tells the story of an accountant, George Spelvin, who stumbles into the spotlight amid missed cues and mass confusion.

Having wandered into the role of actor, George loses total sense of contact with his fellow performers as the cast struggles through a variety of classics.

“The Actor’s Nightmare” stars Calvin Hudson, as George; Chaney Moore, as Sarah; Theresa Hunt, as Ellen; Amanda Spindola, as Meg; Joshua Moore, as Henry; and Erik Holm, as the executioner.

Directed by senior theatre major Amanda Broomas, the stage manager is senior theatre major Leigh Harrison.

The second show, Christopher Shinn’s “Dying City,” dissects the impact of the Iraq war on society.

A year after the death of her husband Craig, Kelly, a young therapist, confronts his identical twin brother after he arrives unannounced at her apartment, and the two examine how events thousands of miles away can affect the heart and soul of a city.

“Dying City” features Zach Lewis, as both Craig and Peter, and Tasheena Miyagi, as Kelly.

It is directed by senior theatre major Jennifer McKinnon Jackson, with junior theatre major Katie Attaway serving as stage manager.

Designers include Jodie Daniels, costumes for “The Actors Nightmare;” Veronica LaCombe, costumes for “Dying City;” as well as Mike Weiss, sets; Charles Page, lights; Vilija Tuminas, props; and J.R. Carson, sound.

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.

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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Professor To Bring Latin Flavor In Guitar Performance

Alejandro MontielAlejandro Montiel, a recent addition to the SHSU’s School of Music faculty, will perform an assortment of Latin-American influenced music, including a rare sonata, on Saturday (Oct. 4).

The classical guitar faculty recital will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

The program will feature music from such Latin American artists as Heitor Villa-Lobos, Carlos Guastavino, Ernesto Lecuona and Roland Dyens.

“The second half of the program will include Antonio Lauro's prison music, music that he wrote while he was a political prisoner in Venezuela in the 50s, including the rarely performed guitar sonata,” Montiel said.

Montiel, who has been playing the classical guitar since 1993, joined the music faculty in January.

He holds degrees from the University of Texas and the Peabody Conservatory and is currently working to obtain his doctorate in music at UT.

Montiel has studied under some of the world’s greatest players and pedagogues, performing in recitals throughout the U.S. and Italy, and has been featured in public radio interviews throughout the country.

In addition to his studies and instruction, Montiel also performs as a founding member of the award-winning Texas Guitar Quartet and the Duo Gran Colombia.

His performance is free and open to the public.

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


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Exhibit To Connect, Disconnect Art And Culture

Four artists from across the country will show their connection and/or disconnection to contemporary culture in an exhibit in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery beginning Monday (Sept. 29).

A reception for “Connect/Disconnect,” featuring the photographs of Bill O'Donnell, Kyle Petersen, Kathleen Robbins and Alice Shaw, will be held Wednesday (Oct. 1), from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.

“The ‘information revolution’ has brought about many transformations in public, corporate and personal communication. We are all now connected,” said Rebecca Finely, assistant professor of art. “Yet, many feel greater isolation and alienation due to the anonymity of digital communication.

“The idea is that the work shows ways in which we are both connected and disconnected in contemporary culture,” she said.
The juried photography exhibit is curated by Finley, who selected the participating artists.

The exhibit, which will be held through Oct. 17, will include both “straight photography,” or more documentary-style photography, and images digitally manipulated, as well as digital prints and c-prints, Finley said.

Located in Art Building F, the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, contact Finley at 936.294.3418 or


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Jensen Wins Award For ‘Distinguished Teaching’

Assistant professor of math Jacqueline Jensen has been named the recipient of the Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award, awarded for “distinguished teaching by a beginning college or university mathematics faculty member.”

“Lauded by students for her personal interest in them and their learning,” Jensen “reaches out to students of every level to improve their view and knowledge of mathematics and to improve their lives as well,” her award letter said.

Jensen has also been credited with changing her department’s approach to recruiting and educating math students and helps recruit women into the field.

In addition, she reactivated the local MAA chapter, encourages students to attend and present at mathematics-related meetings and founded a lecture series that brings female mathematicians to campus to present talks for undergraduates.

“To be listed among the Alder Award winners is humbling,” Jensen said. “I am proud to be recognized for my contributions to students, both in and out of the classroom, and thank all of the students that I have had the chance to interact with at Sam Houston State University for their dedication and enthusiasm.”

Jensen has taught math at SHSU since 2002, when she earned her doctorate from the University of Oregon.


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Ag Prof, Students Spread Horsemanship Internationally

McMillan, ag students in Austria
"International horsemen" Matt McMillan, Kim Hall, Carmen Del Toro and Caleb Thompson, in Austria.

SHSU equine program director Matt McMillan and three members of the American Quarter Horse Association spent three weeks overseas this summer teaching Europeans about horsemanship.

The group was one of four from universities across the country to be selected and funded by the AQHA to conduct three four-day horsemanship clinics in Wilhelmsburg, Austria, and Kreuth, Germany, between July 16 and Aug. 9.

The participating students, Caleb Thompson, Kim Hall and Carmen Del Toro, were selected for their “personal character and commitment to our horse program” and an application process that included a riding test, according to McMillan, an assistant professor of agricultural sciences.

“All are very committed and were tremendous ambassadors for us as well as SHSU,” he said. “I am very proud of their work in Europe.”

During the camps, the SHSU team gave participants hands-on instruction to prepare for sanctioned AQHA horse shows, including “everything from basic, intermediate, and advanced horsemanship to the proper use of equipment, behavior modification, nutrition, selection and evaluation, safety, management, grooming, etc.,” according to the program outline.

“People who attended the camps were those who owned horses and wanted to learn how to become better horsemen as well as how to more effectively communicate with their horses,” McMillan said.

Horsemanship is very popular in Europe, according to McMillan.

“Next to the United States, Germany has more American Quarter Horses than any other country in the world,” he said.

“Traditionally, Europe has ridden in a very English discipline,” McMillan said. “Now, ‘Western’ is becoming more and more popular, and people want to learn how to ride and perform Western techniques.”


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Business Student Wins $10k Scholarship

SHSU graduate student Christopher Lee Ashorn has been selected to receive $10,000 as one of the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation’s scholarship recipients.

Ashorn, as well as the 15 other winners from universities across the state, will be awarded the non-restricted scholarship during a luncheon ceremony on Nov. 6 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

"These 2008 scholarship recipients represent the best of the young men and women of Texas. They have an entrepreneurial spirit, high integrity and a strong personal drive,” said foundation chairman Jim Young. "We congratulate them on their success and expect them to compete, contribute and thrive in this highly connected world, making their communities better places to live."

Now in its 26th year, the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation honors members of the state’s business community whose visions and careers have helped to place Texas at the forefront of the 21st century economy and seeks out the future entrepreneurs and leaders that will allow Texas to maintain this presence in the future.

To date, the non-profit organization has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships to students pursuing an education at Texas’ leading institutions of higher learning.

For more information, contact the TBHF office at 713.993.9433 or visit


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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
Sept. 26, 2008
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