SHSU Update For Week Of Feb. 15



SHSU To Celebrate Mardi Gras Cajun Style

The Sam Houston State and Huntsville communities will have the opportunity to celebrate Mardi Gras the Cajun way with the university’s seventh annual festival on Thursday (Feb. 19).

The event, which kicks off at 8:30 p.m. in the Lee Drain Building Atrium, will feature the Cajun music band Jambalaya with guest artist D.L. Menard, both of whom have been playing at the event since its inception, according to communications studies professor Terry Thibodeaux.

“He’s (Menard is) an old-time Cajun musician and is one of the most famous Cajun musicians still living today,” Thibodeaux said. “The core of the band has been together for over 20 years. They’re led by Terry Huval, and he plays several instruments.

“Basically, you can dance to any Cajun song with either a two-step, which is slightly different from a Texas two-step, or a waltz,” Thibodeaux said. “There’s also a different kind of dancing called zydeco dancing, but this is not a zydeco band. This is a traditional Cajun band. They play some wonderful dance music, and we have a good time every year.”

Earlier that day, Menard and Jambalaya members Terry Huval and Reggie Matte will give a free, public symposium on Cajun culture and music, from 6-7 p.m. in Evans Building Room 105.

The band visits SHSU annually because they speak to the English 488 class, “Texas Crossroads,” as well as play some music.

Thibodeaux said the Mardi Gras celebration allows people to learn about the culture and also breaks down stereotypes related to the Cajun people and culture.

“I think a lot of times the Cajun culture is misunderstood because of some of the images and impressions that are given from mass media and even in restaurants,” he said. “What you see labeled as Cajun oftentimes is not authentic at all.”

Tickets are $10, or $5 with an SHSU ID, and can be purchased at the door.

The dance is expected to end at 10:30 p.m.


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New Prof To Discuss Her Field In ‘Personal’ Lecture

New family and consumer sciences visiting assistant professor Courtney Winston will share her personal experiences as a registered dietician and with the industry on Wednesday (Feb. 18).

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

“I’ll be mostly talking about what it’s like to be a registered dietitian and what career options you have,” said Winston, who is also a certified diabetes educator. “I’ve primarily worked in healthcare, so I’ll be talking a lot about what it’s like to be a medical clinician and what it takes to succeed in the medical field.

“People are always going to need healthcare providers (dietitians, doctors, nurses),” she said. “I feel that if you want job security in the long-run, a career in the healthcare field is the way to go.”

Winston came to SHSU in August from Azusa Pacific University in San Diego, Calif., where she served as an adjunct professor. At SHSU, she also directs the undergraduate program in food science and nutrition.

She previously worked with the Kaiser Foundation Hospital and the American Red Cross Women, Infants and Children Program.

A current doctoral student in the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Winston received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina

The “Up Close and Personal” speaker series is a 30-minute lunchtime presentation “designed to help our students and university community build mentoring relationships with our outstanding faculty,” said Bernice Strauss, director of academic support programs for the SAM Center.

For more information, contact Strauss at 936.294.4444 or


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Sociology Professor To Talk For Grassroots Lecture

Sujey Vega, visiting assistant professor of sociology, will share her life and experiences, as well as field questions, on Wednesday (Feb. 18), as part of the Grassroots speaker series.

The lecture will be held at 5 p.m. in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Concourse, located in room 90.

“Examining the challenges and role models that have guided me, the presentation will attempt to offer students a glimpse at how to keep pounding the pavement and search out their own success in life,” Vega said.

“Though still a work in progress, my own career path has been paved with setbacks and pain,” she said. “It is in revealing some of these very real experiences that I hope to encourage students to find their inner strength and persist in fulfilling a commitment to themselves.”
Vega, who has taught at SHSU since last fall, has done extensive research on Latinos and immigration.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of North Texas and both her master’s and doctoral degrees in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Following the discussion, a meet-and-greet with refreshments will be held in the Student Advising and Mentoring Center, located in CHSSB Suite 170.

“Grassroots: A Series of Conversations on Leadership in a Diverse Community” is sponsored by the academic support programs of the Student Advising and Mentoring Center; the Elliott T. Bowers Honors Program; the International Hispanic Association; Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.; the NAACP; the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program; Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc.; and Women United.

For more information, contact Bernice Strauss, director of academic support programs for the SAM Center, at 936.294.4444.


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Former St. Thomas President To Link Spain, Ireland

Joseph McFadden, professor of history and president emeritus at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, will discuss a connection between Spain and Ireland on Thursday (Feb. 19).

The lecture, which will focus on the Spanish Armada’s crash on the coast of Ireland and the sailors who escaped drowning, will be held at noon in Lowman Student Center Room 321.

Considered an expert on Irish history, McFadden earned his doctorate from Northern Illinois University in American history and has a minor in modern European and Russian history.

Traveling extensively in Ireland, he also taught at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland.

McFadden joined the UST faculty in 1988, teaching as a history professor since 1997 and serving as president between 1988 and 1997. He also served as interim president in spring 2004.

“He is one of the most sought-after professors around (at St. Thomas),” said Debra Andrist, chair of the foreign languages department. “People waited in line for hours just to get in his classes.”

McFadden spoke at SHSU last spring on the Celtic Tiger and the economic success of Ireland; that lecture was also well attended, according to Andrist.

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


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Fair To Bring 49 Employee-Seeking Entities To Campus

While the job market may be grim due to the economic crisis the country is currently facing, the College of Business Administration will have 49 companies who are looking for new employees on campus on Tuesday (Feb. 17).

The College of Business Administration Career Fair will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

Students and alumni seeking full-time jobs or internships will have the opportunity to peruse companies seeking employees from a variety of academic majors, including Aerotek, Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, H-E-B, McCoy’s Building Supply, McKesson, Wal-Mart and Wal Mart Logistics, among others.

Because the fair is centered around business-related companies, a number of banking and financial institutions will also be available, including Amegy, BKD, the Federal Reserve Bank and Federal Deposit Insurance Company, Houston Community Bank and Wells Fargo Financial, as well as a number of accounting firms.

For a full list of companies that will be in attendance, visit or for more information on the career fair, call COBA at 936.294.1254.


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Reception To Recognize, Inform ‘Outstanding’ Undergrads

The Elliott T. Bowers Honors Program will host a reception for outstanding freshman and sophomore students on Thursday (Feb. 19), from 1-3 p.m. in Austin Hall.

The Honors Student Ambassadors, the Honors Council and faculty advisers will be on hand to provide information about Honors education, Academic Scholarships, Study Abroad Programs, Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Theta Kappa, Golden Key, Orange Keys, and the McNair Scholarship Program, according to Maria Holmes, who works in the Honors Program office.

Academically-talented freshmen and sophomores in all majors with a 3.4 cumulative grade point average or better are invited to attend and have refreshments while meeting other undergraduates.

To RSVP, or for more information, contact Holmes at 936.294.1477 or, or visit the Honors Program office, located in Academic Building IV Room 201, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


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ADAI To Present Physical, Emotional Effects Of Abuse

SHSU Student Health Center programming coordinator Sarah Hanel will show students the physical and emotional effects of not loving their bodies when they partake in alcohol and drug use on Wednesday (Feb. 18).

“Love Your Body, Love Yourself,” an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative Event, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

During the event, photographs of the physical internal and external damage related to alcohol and drug abuse will be on display, while Hanel discusses the “serious” emotional effects that should be considered before using drugs and alcohol. These include changes in personality, depression, severe mood swings and declining grades.

“People who abuse drugs and alcohol can also lose interest in their family and friends and have difficulty paying attention in school or when performing other tasks,” she said. “Students will learn about the impact of alcohol and drug use on the dimensions of health, emphasizing on emotional and physical wellbeing.”

Students also will be able to spin the “Facts on Tap” wheel to answer questions and win prizes.

“Love Your Body, Love Yourself” is part of the Six Weeks of Alcohol Awareness Training program.

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

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Rec Sports To Create Mayhem At HKC

Mayhem will ensue at the Health and Kinesiology Center on Wednesday (Feb. 18), when the Recreational Sports department will open its doors for a night of free food and games, beginning at 8 p.m.

A Mardi Gras-themed Midnight Mayhem will include a fortune teller, street performers, bead throwing/catching, mask making, Creole Cup (a sober version of beer pong), casino games and a voodoo room.

Traditional Midnight Mayhem activities, such as inflatables, an open climb on the rock wall, eating contests, poker, bull riding and an obstacle course, will also be included.

The evening will culminate at around 11:30 p.m. with a $500 half-court shot and raffle prize giveaways. Ten students are selected by raffle for the half-court shot, followed by the raffling of other prizes.

“Midnight Mayhem is a night for students to get together in a social, alcohol-free environment and have a good time compliments of the recreational sports department,” said Tina DeAses, senior assistant director for Recreational Sports. “Last year we had approximately 600 students, and this year we are hoping for 700-800.

“So we hope students come out and catch a part of the mayhem.”

For more information, contact DeAses at 936.294.4985 or


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Theatre Brings ‘Angels’ To Mainstage

The SHSU department of theatre and dance will take on a wide spectrum of controversial and political themes during its production of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches” beginning Wednesday (Feb. 18).

Show times are at 8 p.m. through Feb. 21, with an additional 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, in the University Theatre Center’s Mainstage Theatre.

Set in the 1980s during the AIDS crisis, the Pulitzer-prize winning drama touches on themes of marriage, homosexuality, racism, religion and art, all of which are as relevant today as during the Reagan administration, according to theatre manager Kandice Harris.

“Angels in America” is also critically acclaimed on both the national and international levels, winning multiple Tony Awards and being adapted into a Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning HBO miniseries. It was also adapted into an opera.

Directed by SHSU faculty member Tom Prior, the cast includes theatre and musical theatre majors Mike Sims, Zach Lewis, Calvin Hudson, Samm Lind, Rachael Logue, Tony Johnson, Kris Ward, Carlos Salinas, Sam Sanchez, Patrick Massey, Amy Burn, Christopher Martin, Monica Brown, Sam Weeks, Sarah Reinhardt and Jared Cummings.

Designers include technical theatre major Charles Page (set), theatre faculty member Eric Marsh (lighting) and noted Houston sound designer Mike Mullins. Theatre major Krissy Larson is the stage manager.

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

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

For more information, or for tickets, call the University Theatre Center Box Office at 936.294.1339.


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Artists To Bring ‘Six Shooter’ To Campus

Seven south Texas artists will display their works in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery beginning Monday (Feb. 16).

“Six Shooter” will be on display through March 20.

It features the paintings and other two-dimensional works of Corpus Christi artists Ricardo Ruiz, Mike Stephens and Michelle Smythe; Kingsville painter Jesus De La Rosa; McAllen artists Paul Valadez and Richard Smith; and San Marcos printmaker Curtis Miller.

Miller will speak during the exhibit’s opening reception on Wednesday (Feb. 18), from 5-7 p.m., in the gallery.

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery, located in Art Building F, is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Matthew Guest, assistant professor of art, at 936.294.1320.


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Workshops To Focus On Grad School, ‘Studying Smart’

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center will provide advice on the steps students should take to pursue a graduate degree, as well as study tips, with two workshops beginning on Monday (Feb. 16).

The graduate school presentation will focus on finding the right program, organizing an application, and financial aid, among other topics, beginning at 5 p.m.

On Wednesday (Feb. 18), the SAM Center will give students who missed the beginning of their Study Skills Workshop Series the opportunity to catch up during a “late start” series.

The late start series will teach students to “study smart” through 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 at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays through April 1.

Both workshops will be held in the SAM Center, located in College of Humanities and Social Science Building Room 170.

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

For more information on the grad school program, contact Adrienne Langelier at, and for more information on the study skills series, contact the SAM Center at 936.294.4444 or


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Ag Grad Student’s Presentation Wins Second In Contest

Agriculture grad student Susan Henderson won second place at the American Society of Agronomy conference for her presentation on research she completed last summer.

SHSU agricultural sciences graduate student Susan Henderson recently took second place honors for her poster presentation during a competition at the southern section meetings of the American Society of Agronomy.

Henderson’s presentation detailed the results of research she completed last summer at Gibbs Ranch and the TRIES lab as part of her master’s thesis.

“For that project she studied the nutritive value of various summer legumes,” said Robert Lane, professor of agricultural sciences. “Additionally, she employed a unique technique, termed ‘the bite-count method,’ to determine meat goat preference or selectivity for the legumes used in the study.”

The poster presentations are judged on project design and statistical analyses of the data, the clarity with which the research results are displayed, and the abilities of the contestants to explain his or her findings to the judges and other observers.

Henderson will be recognized for her work in an upcoming issue of Agronomy News, a publication distributed internationally by the American Society of Agronomy.

The ASA meeting, held in conjunction with the Southern Agricultural Scientists Annual Conference, was held Jan. 31 through Feb. 3 in Atlanta, Ga.

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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
Feb. 13, 2009
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