SHSU Update For Week Of March 29



Panel To Address ‘Many Women, Many Journeys’

Four women will discuss the “many journeys” of females on Tuesday (March 31), at 3:30 p.m. in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room 140.

The panel discussion, “Many Women, Many Journeys,” sponsored by the CHSS Women’s Caucus, is being held in honor of National Women’s History month.

“The intention of the panel is to present a wide range of women's experiences with relationships and/or family—single, married, straight, lesbian, with or without children—with representatives from different organizations in the area,” said April Shemak, assistant professor of English.

The panel will include Maggie Russell, who will discuss “Twogether,” a premarital education program she directs; DePelchin Children's Center representatives Christina Kraatz and Wendy Brueckner, who will discuss women and foster/adoption; and Dian Nelson-Turnier, who works with the Montrose Counseling Center, who will discuss issues specific to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

There will also be a questions and discussion period with the audience.

For more information, contact Shemak at 936.294.1432 or


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Executive To Discuss Working Abroad

Susan Vaughan, senior vice president for operations with JCR Executive Search Inc., will explore the fundamentals entering the international career sector on Thursday (April 2).

“Competing in the Global Workforce” will be held at 11 a.m. in the Smith-Hutson Building’s Mafrige Auditorium (Room 128). The event will serve as the department of management and marketing’s fifth global business lecture, as well as the keynote lecture for international week, sponsored by the Office of International Programs and the Office of Research and Special Programs.

The lecture will teach students what key attributes employers seek, the rewards and challenges of expatriate life, navigating the complexities of visas and work permits, how to “package” yourself to be an attractive candidate and provide resources for evaluating, preparing and beginning a global job search.

“From the perspective of an executive recruiter who has placed senior level professionals in leadership positions with some of the largest global commercial real estate organizations in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the Caribbean, you will gain insights into how to position yourself to be an attractive candidate in the international workforce,” Vaughan said. “In addition, you will hear first hand from professionals who will share their experiences abroad.”

JCR Executive Search Inc. is an international executive recruitment firm.

For more information, contact assistant professor of marketing Irfan Ahmed at 936.294.1276 or


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Grant Receives Funding For Drinking Age Study

Darren Grant, assistant professor of economics, has received a $35,000 grant from Choose Responsibility, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, to study how the minimum drinking age affects traffic safety.

Grant will serve as principal investigator for the meta analysis, in which he will review literature from previous studies to “reconcile the differences between these various studies so that we can better ascertain what the literature tells us,” he said.

“Right now, in terms of the research literature on the minimum drinking age, the whole is less than the sum of its parts, meaning that there are all these studies, but since they conflict they don’t add up to a lot,” Grant said. “My hope is that by taking a more discerning look at these studies, we can make the whole add up to more than the sum of its parts.

“Previous work by myself and by my SHSU colleague Donald Freeman, casts doubt on the effectiveness of some traffic safety legislation,” he said. “Thus we should not simply assume drinking age laws automatically work as they were intended to.”

The study comes at a time when the wisdom of minimum the drinking age of 21 has been called to question by university presidents across the country.

The Amethyst Initiative, a group of college presidents who favor a lower drinking age, was founded by Choose Responsibility president John McCardell.

Currently, there are 135 sitting college presidents who have signed the initiative.

“A Multifaceted Study of the Effect of the Minimum Drinking Age on Drunk Driving” continues a string of work Grant has done on traffic safety research.

Previous studies include research on bicycle helmet laws, with Steven Rutner, published in 2004 in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and a study on zero tolerance laws that will be published within the next in Economic Inquiry.


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Spanish Prof To Give Students Writing Tips

Assistant professor of Spanish Alejandro Latinez will help students with their “composition and comprehension” of the language on Monday (March 30).

The foreign languages teaching seminar will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 315.

“‘On Composition and Comprehension’ is a brief approach to the complexity of practicing Spanish for students with different levels of proficiency and relationship with the target language in the same class,” he said. “For students at the university level, writing is a critical component in their scholarly and professional life, and a second language perspective contributes to the enhancement of their skills.

Latinez has taught at SHSU since 2006. He previously taught at Kentucky Wesleyan College for two years.

He earned his bachelors degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and both his master’s and doctorate degrees from Vanderbilt.

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


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‘Excellent’ Staff Members Sought

Nominations for the Staff Excellence Award and Recognition of Service Program are due April 10.

The annual Staff Excellence Awards “honor three employees who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence,” including one exempt and two non-exempt staff employees, according to the nomination form. Non-exempt employees are those subject to overtime pay.

Recipients must be full-time, non-temporary staff members with a minimum of two years service at time of nomination; demonstrate outstanding abilities, innovative ideas, efficient operations, high level of motivation; be respected by the university community; and cannot be a previous recipient.

A list of previous recipients can be found online at

Winners receive a financial stipend of $2,000.

Any full-time SHSU faculty or staff member can nominate, and faculty and staff may nominate more than one person. Selections are made by the university’s eight-member staff excellence committee.

For more information, or to nominate, visit


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Theatre Gives ‘Romeo And Juliet’ Same-Gender Twist

The department of theatre and dance will present a twist on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” with all-male and all-female casts for Joe Calarco’s “Shakespeare’s R&J” Tuesday (March 31) through Saturday (April 4), in the University Theatre Center’s Showcase Theatre.

The female cast performances will be held March 31 and April 2 at 8 p.m. and the Saturday 2 p.m. matinee, while the male cast performances will be held April 1, April 2 and April 4, all at 8 p.m.

“Shakespeare’s R&J” is set in a restrictive private school at which students begin reading and play acting “Romeo and Juliet.”

Though beginning innocently enough, ulterior motives begin to surface and the duality of the stories begins to mirror the students’ lives.

The framework of Shakespeare’s text remains in tact while the use of an all-male and all-female cast demonstrates that the Bard’s universal themes are still relevant today.

Directed by theatre chair Penny Hasekoester, the female cast includes Ashtyn Sonner, Ashley Lowe, Tasheena Miyagi and Maegan De La Rosa, and the male cast includes Garret Storms, Mitchell Greco, Josh Fehrmann, and Michael Keeney.

Senior theatre major Sara Hodgin is the stage manager, and the assistant director is theatre major A.J. Salazar.

The technical elements are designed by theatre majors Bich Do, set; Charles Page, lights; J.R. Carson, sound; and Abby Barker, costumes.

The play contains adult content; therefore, children under the age of three will not be admitted.

Tickets are $8.

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


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Club To Sell Crops, Flowers

The SHSU Horticulture and Crop Science Club will sell a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers during its Spring Plant Sale on Friday (April 3).

The sale will be held from 4-6 p.m. at the Horticulture Center.

Among the herbs and vegetable plants that will be for sale are basil, cilantro, green bell pepper, parsley and sweet one hundred tomatoes.

Flowering plants on sale include begonias, coleus, impatiens, marigolds, salvia and zinnias.

All plants will be sold for $3 per six-pack or $15 per flat (36 plants).

The Horticulture Center is located on Avenue M between Holleman Field and the softball field, behind H-E-B.

For more information, contact Sharon Frey, lecturer in the agricultural and industrial sciences department, at or 936.294.1224.


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Music To Jazz Up LSC, Stardust Room During Festival

International jazz trombonist, writer and arranger John Fedchock will be the featured performer during “the oldest jazz festival in the state of Texas,” Friday and Saturday (April 3-4).

The 49th Annual SHSU Jazz Festival will tune up at 8 p.m. on Friday with an informal jam session by Fedchock and the SHSU Faculty Jazz Quintet at the Stardust Room, on the Huntsville downtown square.

The event is free for the public.

Saturday’s schedule includes 30-minute performances from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. by SHSU’s Student Jazz Combo, Jazz Lab Band, Jazz Improv Class and Artistry In Rhythm.

After a break, Fedchock will lead a clinic session from 2-2:50 p.m. with the jazz improvisation class.

In the afternoon, some of Texas’ best public school jazz bands will compete from 3-5:30 p.m. Competing schools include Lake Jackson Intermediate, Kingwood High School, Klein Oak High School, Spring High School and two bands from Brazoswood.

All of these performances, as well as the clinic, are free and will be held in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

The evening will culminate with an awards ceremony and concert opened by the winning high school band and featuring Fedchock and the SHSU Jazz Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. in the LSC Ballroom.

Since his emergence on the scene in 1980, John Fedchock has established himself as a world-class trombone soloist, a heralded bandleader and a Grammy-nominated arranger.

His critically-acclaimed John Fedchock New York Big Band has created four CDs that have all received high praise from critics and extraordinary success on national jazz radio charts.

Fedchock is a graduate of Ohio State University with degrees in music education and jazz studies. He also holds a master's degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

A strong advocate for arts in education, Fedchock is jazz trombone instructor at Purchase College in Purchase, N.Y., and a visiting jazz faculty member at the University Of The Arts in Philadelphia, Pa.

Tickets to the evening concert are $10 for general admission, $5 for SHSU students and senior citizens and free for children under the age of 6, SHSU faculty members and music students.

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


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Planetarium Cancels Showings For Semester

The physics department’s spring planetarium series programs have been cancelled do to equipment malfunction.

These include the scheduled April 3, April 17 and May 15 dates.

Because the equipment is expensive, it is uncertain when the program will resume, according to Michael Prokosch, staff laboratory assistant for the physics department.

For more information call 936.294.3664 or e-mail Prokosch at


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Honors Program Seeks Research Presenters

The Elliott T. Bowers Honors Ambassadors are accepting undergraduate research presentations to be part of its annual symposium.

The annual Undergraduate Research Symposium is scheduled for April 18, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center.

The symposium’s goal is to allow undergraduate students who have been conducting research over the past year to present their findings in a professional environment, according to event coordinator Nicole Lozano.

“We think it's important because first, it allows students to present their research that they have in an affordable, professional environment,” Lozano said. “Secondly, it allows the community at SHSU (students, faculty, staff) a chance to see what students have to offer, and what they are giving back to the university.”

During the event, which is free for students, there will be several sessions throughout the day, all of which will have a professor sitting in to critique the presentation.

There will also be an open poster session for anyone interested.

A light breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack will be served for all who register to attend the symposium.

Registration for oral and poster presentations will be held until 5 p.m. on April 10.

Anything received after that date will not be accepted.

For more information on presenting research at the symposium, contact Lozano at or 936.294.1477.


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McNair Scholars Present At Research Conference

Four SHSU senior students in the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program recently presented their research during the 11th Annual Texas National McNair Scholars’ Research Conference.

Nine other McNair scholars also traveled to Denton for the conference, held Feb. 20-22 at the University of North Texas, in order to become more familiar with the research process, according to Lydia C. Fox, McNair program director.

“As part of the McNair Program, scholars are required to collaborate on a research project with a faculty mentor and present it at regional conferences,” Fox said.

Presentations were given by Jonathan Miller, who has been working with political science assistant professor Rhonda Callaway on a presentation “Haiti: An Investigation of Human Rights;” and Douglas Moore, who has been working with physics assistant professor Joel Walker on his presentation “On the Production of Gravitational Waves by Electromagnetic Fields.”

Also, Kristina Nungaray, who has been working with psychology department chair Christopher Wilson on her work on “Ultrasonic Vocalizations During Transport in Infant Rats;” and Matthew Cooper, who has been working with economics assistant professor Isabel Ruiz on his project “How has the Introduction of Genetically Modified Crops Affected the People of South Africa?"


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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
March 27, 2009
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to




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Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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