SHSU Update For Week Of Nov. 15



Series To Bring Evolutionary Psychologist To Campus

The Student Activities Leadership Initiative and the biology department will welcome evolutionary psychologist David Buss to the SHSU campus for two lectures on Monday (Nov. 16).

Buss, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, will discuss his field at 11 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

Buss, who is currently the head of the individual differences and evolutionary psychology area at UT, completed his doctorate in 1981 at the University of California, Berkeley.

He spent four years as assistant professor at Harvard University before moving to the University of Michigan, where he taught for 11 years. He has been at UT since 1996.

Buss’s primary interests include the evolutionary psychology of human mating strategies; conflict between the sexes; prestige, status, and social reputation; the emotion of jealousy; homicide; anti-homicide defenses; and stalking.

The leadership initiative plans a variety of events that include lecturers, membership for students to leadership organizations, conferences, and other leadership opportunities, according to Brandon Cooper, Student Activities manager.

“The goal is to bring high quality engaging speakers for students who can deliver messages that are specific and inspiring for students,” he said.

The lecture is open to the public.

For more information, call Student Activities at 936.294.3861.


Back to top

Colloquium To Feature SHSU Physics Prof

SHSU assistant professor of physics Hui Fang will introduce "the physics and material science of lithium ion batteries" on Wednesday (Nov. 18).

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

“Rechargeable lithium ion batteries are key components of the portable, entertainment, computing and telecommunication equipment required by today's information-rich, mobile society,” Fang said. “In this colloquium, I will discuss the physics and material science of lithium ion batteries and our recent exciting research results obtained at physics department of SHSU on LiFePO4 cathode material.”

Fang earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and his doctorate from the University of Houston.

For more information, call the physics department at 936.294.1601.


Back to top

Philosophy Prof To Give ‘Close,’ ‘Personal’ Lecture

Diana Buccafurni, assistant professor of philosophy, will discuss how she got into the bioethics field on Wednesday (Nov. 18).

The “Up Close and Personal” lecture, sponsored by the Student Advising and Mentoring Center, will be held at 11:45 a.m. at the Farrington Pit.

Buccafurni came to SHSU in 2007 while finishing her dissertation and became a tenure-track professor in 2008.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University and her doctorate from the University of Utah.

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.

Students are encouraged to bring a lunch.

For more information, call the SAM Center at 936.294.4444.


Back to top


Corpus Christi Administrator To Discuss ‘Roots’

Gerado Moreno, assistant vice president for Student Success at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, will share stories of his life and work on Wednesday (Nov. 18).

The Grassroots speaker series lecture will be held at 5 p.m. in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room C070.

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

The “Grassroots: A Series of Conversations on Leadership in a Diverse Community” was created with the aim of promoting the career aspirations and academic achievements of SHSU’s minority students.

“It has been our goal to bring to our campus notable leaders from all over our state to act as meaningful role models, advisers and mentors to our students,” said Bernice Strauss, SAM Center director for academic support programs.

The lecture 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, call the SAM Center at 936.294.4444.


Back to top


LSU Professor To Discuss Work With Fish, Evolution

Prosanta Chakrabarty, an assistant professor in Louisiana State University’s biological sciences department, will discuss his work in studying the relationships of fishes to better understand evolutionary processes on Thursday (Nov. 19).

The SHSU Biological Science Department Seminar Series lecture will be held from 4-5 p.m. in Lee Drain Building Room 214.

Chakrabarty’s research on "Freshwater Fishes and Biogeography" focus on two main fields: the evolution of bioluminescent systems and historical biogeography of freshwater fishes, according to his faculty page on the LSU Web site. Bioluminescence is the production of light by living organisms while biogeography is the study of the geographical distribution of living things.

“Bioluminescent systems have evolved multiple times in fishes, predominantly among deep-sea clades,” the page said. “I am particularly interested in using phylogenetic (the evolution of a particular group of organisms) tools to better understand how sexual selection on bioluminescent structures may have played a role in speciation.

“My biogeographic studies have looked at how fishes with low dispersal ability, such as blind cave fishes, came to be distributed across biogeographic barriers and how the distribution of freshwater fishes explain earth history,” he said.

Chakrabarty earned his bachelor’s degree in 2000 from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and his doctorate in 2006 from the University of Michigan.

Held each Thursday, the seminar series is intended for the public and addresses current research being conducted by a guest professor in a way that the general public can understand.

For more information, contact Chad Hargrave, assistant professor of biological sciences, at 936.294.1543.


Back to top

Campus To Open For Potential Students

Prospective students and parents will have the opportunity to visit the Sam Houston State University campus to see what the university has to offer on Saturday (Nov. 21).

Saturdays @ Sam, sponsored by the SHSU Visitor Center, will begin with check-in and a parent coffee from 8-9 a.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum, followed by a 30-minute opening session at 9 a.m.

Throughout the day, students and their parents can meet with academic advisers at the university’s Student Advising and Mentoring Center, have academic sessions with colleges of potential majors, visit the Go Kats Go Center and apply online for free, tour residence halls and the campus, attend an organizations fair, and get information from various departments on campus.

Breakfast and lunch items will be available for purchase from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Johnson Coliseum concession stands, from 8-10 a.m. in Café Belvin and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Einstein Bros. Bagles. Lunch will also be available from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Café Belvin for $6.25, as well as at the Paw Print and South Paw.

The next Saturday @ Sam will be held on March 27.

Registration forms, online registration, directions to the university and more information is available online at

For more information on Saturdays @ Sam, call 936.294.1844 or e-mail


Back to top

Seminar To Address Holiday Spending

From expensive gifts to visiting Grandma, the holidays are a time that can be dangerous to a college student's budget, according to Jacki Brossman-Ashorn, assistant director for the Bearkat OneCard Services Office and the Student Money Management Center.

To help students find smart ways to enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank, the money management center will host a “Holiday Spending” seminar on Thursday (Nov. 19), from noon to 1 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 320.

During the presentation, the Kat2Kat Peer Counselors will introduce students to budgeting basics and holiday gift buying tips to show students how they can plan their holiday spending and avoid common financial follies.

Holiday spending was down last year, with the average American spending $431 on the holidays, versus $859 in 2007, according to Brossman.

“Financial planners suggest that you spend no more than 1.5 percent of your annual income on holiday spending,” she said. “There's no reason to feel like a Scrooge for being budget-conscious at the holidays. Chances are, many on your gift list also feel the pinch.”

For more information, contact the Student Money Management Center at 936.294.2600 or


Back to top

Theatre To Showcase ‘Modern Millie’

The SHSU theatre and dance department will present the Tony award-winning musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” Wednesday through Saturday (Nov. 18-21).

Show times are at 8 p.m. each evening, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, in the University Theatre Center’s Mainstage Theatre.

Based on the award-winning movie and the book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” tells the story of Millie Dillmount, who moves to New York from Salina, Kansas, and gets wrapped up in the whirlwind of the 1920s, when jazz, dancing and glamour reign supreme.

The cast includes Madison Turner, Mitchell Greco, Melissa Joiner, Cole Ryden, Sofia Mendez, Fung Chau, Christopher Amaya, Kimberly Truncale, Elizabeth Tinder, Mark Ivy, Katie Roades, Nina Garcia, Adrian Anderson, Allison Forsythe, Brittany Halen, Colleen Trotter, Darcy Shytles, Teresa Zimmerman, Michael McClure, Kristopher Ward, Justin Finch, Jared Cummings, Mark Jackson, James Smith, Whitney Coulter, Staci Bonura and Max Pierce.

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” is directed by SHSU faculty member Larry Smiglewski, with musical direction by Laura Avery, choreography by dance faculty member Jonathan Charles and stage management by senior theatre major Krissy Larson.

Designers include senior theatre major Nathan Stanaland, scenes; junior theatre major Mike Weiss, sound and automation; sophomore theatre major Vilija Tuminas, properties; and theatre faculty members Kristina Hanssen and Eric Marsh, costumes and lighting, respectively.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for SHSU students and senior citizens. Group rates are available.

Children under the age of three will not be admitted.

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


Back to top

Festival to Feature String Performances

The School of Music will celebrate fall with two Festival of Strings performances beginning Monday (Nov. 16).

That day, SHSU students and guest artists Darol Anger and Mike Block will perform a Festival of Strings Alternative Styles Concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

On Tuesday (Nov. 17), violinist Naomi Gjevre and pianist Robert Hunt will perform pieces by Mozart, Shostakovich, Bruch, and Brahms during the String Faculty Recital at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

Admission is free for both performances.

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


Back to top

Career Services To Serve Tips, Snacks

Career Services will dole out advice on resumes, finding a job and interviews with two events on Wednesday (Nov. 18).

From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that day, career counselors and graduate students will answer questions, critique resumes and promoting the other services offered outside of Academic Building IV.

Hot chocolate, coffee and cookies will also be served during the “Career Café.”

From 3-4 p.m., Career Services will help with the transition “From Student to Professional” in Academic Building IV Suite 210.

The presentation will cover topics such as the job search and interviewing.

“The basic premises of the presentation are to identify skills for which employers look, to discuss the first year working experience, to identify the 12 steps to first year success, to provide strategies to accomplish the 12 steps and to define professionalism,” said Paige Andrews, Career Services career fair and special events coordinator.

For more information on the Career Services events, call 936.294.1713 or e-mail


Back to top

Co-Ed Cheer Receives Funds For National Competition

The SHSU Co-ed Cheerleading Squad has received a partial-paid bid to Orlando, Fla., to participate in the 2009-2010 Universal Cheerleader Association Division I national competition.

SHSU will enter the Jan. 13-18 competition ranked No. 4 in the UCA’s Division 1 cheer, following Morehead State, Universityof Delaware and Missouri State. Texas State, the only other university in the Southland Conference in the top 10, is ranked No. 6.

Though SHSU entered the competition ranked third last year, spirit programs coordinator Brian McColpin said there were several variables that make fourth place an achievement for the team, including more teams competing in the division, new faces on the team and a new coach.

“Our team goal for this year is just to enjoy the experience and hit are routine. Hopefully we will accomplish our goal, and the other team will end up chasing our perfect routine,” McColpin said. “I am very proud of what our team has accomplished this year and look forward to what they can achieve if they put their heart in this routine.”

The team will show off their routine at home on Jan. 12, at 6 p.m. in the Health and Kinesiology Center Multipurpose Room No. 1. The national competition also will be featured on ESPN 2 at a later date.

“The Department of Student Activities is extremely excited and supportive of our co-ed cheerleader team,” said Brandon Cooper, Student Activities assistant director. “This is an amazing opportunity for the students to represent the university at a national level.

“All of the our cheerleaders are amazing individuals and this is a great way for them to showcase the amazing talents that they work on throughout the entire school year,” he said.

To be eligible, teams must submit a video showing a routine and their skills. Individual cheerleaders must also try out separately to participate.

The SHSU national squad comprises Amanda Baske, Tiffany Long, Molly McGinley, Raelynn Peterson, Emily Stephenson, Chelsie Stone, Jenna Wells, Tim Anderson, David Carraway, Thaddeus Dryden, Joseph Hastings, Josh Larty, Nolan Stewart, Jesse Wallace, Chase Wilson and Nick Woodard.


Back to top


Artho, Nichols and Cooper, with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.

Student Services Talks Higher Ed In D.C.

SHSU Student Services representatives recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with the Student Affairs Leadership Council, a subsidiary of the Advisory Board Company.

Representatives met with company representatives and other universities to discuss best practice research methods in higher education.

Afterward, they discussed higher education issues with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's staff and were able to take a photograph with the senator, said Brandon Cooper, Student Activities assistant director.

Debbie Nichols and Donna Artho, assistants to the vice president for Student Services, also participated.

The Student Affairs Leadership Council was held Oct. 27-29.



Back to top


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.



- END -


SHSU Media Contacts: Bruce Erickson, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Nov. 13, 2009
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to




This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office
Director: Bruce Erickson
Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
Located in the 115 Administration Building
Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to



SHSU 'In the News'


Brian Domitrovic, assistant professor of history, appeared on Book TV (C-SPAN) May 1-2, speaking about his recent book "Econoclasts: The Rebels Sparked the Supply Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity" (


Houston Chronicle education writer Jeannie Kever recently turned to Regents Professor of English Paul Ruffin for his views on university presses moving toward "digital books" as opposed to traditional ink-on-paper."We're fulfilling the ancient role of the university press, and that is to produce books," said Paul Ruffin, the Texas poet laureate for 2009 and director of the Texas Review Press at Sam Houston State University. "I don't want to give up the book because it is an art."


Faculty/Staff Birthdays


Monday, May 3

Debbie Birdwell


Tuesday, May 4

Rhonda Callaway

David Gaines

James Walker


Staff Council Spotlights


Jennifer Davis

Sonya Ramirez

Molly Doughtie

Sam Houston State University Sam Houston State UniversityA Member of The Texas State University System

"The measure of a Life is its Service."