SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 11



UPD Appoints Parking, Transportation Director

David Kapalko has been named assistant director for parking and transportation for SHSU’s department of Public Safety.

Kapalko, who started Oct. 1, comes to SHSU with more than 18 years of experience in higher education, serving as director of parking and transportation at the University of Texas at Austin, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Texas at San Antonio. He also served as a university police officer at George Mason.

As assistant director for parking and transportation, Kapalko’s responsibilities will include parking rules and regulations, parking permits, university administrative parking citations and helping establish a future transportation system, according to UPD Chief Kevin Morris.

“The decision was made to create this position due to the growth of the university, for better management of the current parking facilities and space and to bring in an experienced individual regarding transportation systems,” Morris said.

At Virginia Tech, Kapalko was part of the planning and construction process of an $11 million project involving parking lot expansion and a 500-car parking deck. At UT-San Antonio, he was instrumental in the passage of a student transportation fee resulting in expanded shuttle service while lowering student parking rates, and the planning for their second parking garage.

Kapalko earned his Bachelor of Science degree in law enforcement and corrections from Penn State University and completed graduate courses in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University.

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Group To Wish Student Well With 1,000 Cranes Project

In the Japanese culture, cranes are very respected animals.

“Crane couples get along well and live together in their whole life,” said Yuki Waugh, SHSU Japanese instructor. “When they sing together, their voice would reach to heaven.”

Auspicious animals, Cranes are a symbol of longevity, which is why when Waugh was notified that one of her students would soon need brain surgery, Waugh decided to organize a group to make and send paper cranes to the student to wish her well.

Bearkat students, faculty and staff members can join in the process of making 1,000 paper cranes on Monday (Oct. 12), from 2-3:30 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 319.

“We fold 1,000 cranes when someone is ill and wish for the person's recovery,” Waugh said. “Personally, when my grandmother was hospitalized when I was an elementary school student, I folded 1,000 cranes with my cousins wishing her recovery.

“We say ‘Tsuru wa sennen, kame wa mannen,’ which means ‘Cranes (live) for 1,000 years, and turtles (live) for 10,000 years’” she said. “It was said that we can live one year longer as we fold one more paper crane.”

During the event, Waugh will teach participants how to fold the origami cranes in hopes of “our wishes (for the student’s recovery) coming true,” she said.

“When I first heard about my student's surgery, my heart hurt. She is very intelligent and hard working,” Waugh said. “I believe that the student's surgery would be successful, but I hope that many people would fold cranes because I personally feel that the better outcome would come with more people's wishes and efforts.

“I think that the cranes would encourage the student especially because she is familiar with Japanese culture.”

For more information on the event, contact Waugh at


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Kentucky Prof To Detail ‘Battle of Sexes’ In Fish

University of Kentucky biology professor Craig Sargent will discuss his research on the “conflict between the sexes” on Thursday (Oct. 15).

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

Sargent investigates the “ecology and evolution of reproductive and life-history strategies in teleost fishes,” including intrasexual competition for mates and the parent/offspring conflict, as well as their implications for the fish mating systems, according to his UK biography page.

“He is looking at how males and females potentially influence the fitness of the opposite sex,” said Raelynn Deaton, assistant professor in SHSU’s biological sciences department. “Evolutionarily, males and females have differing interests in terms of their fitness (e.g., sometimes males do harmful things to females and vice versa), so he is studying the mechanisms by which males and females compete, and also how female-female interactions might influence female fitness.”

Held each Thursday, the seminar series is open to 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.


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Hunt To Send Students On Quest For Missing Sammy

The Vice President for Student Services’ office will take students on a journey across a string of tropical islands in search of a missing Sammy Bearkat during the annual Scavenger Hunt on Tuesday (Oct. 13).

Beginning at 9:30 a.m., students can begin gathering clues to find Sammy in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

Last seen on a tropical island, students will island hop across campus following Sammy’s trail to find the last place he visited using clues received from various participating departments along the way.

After each of the five “items” are collected, participants will return to the starting point to show that the course has been completed and will then be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an HP Mini Netbook.

The hunt for Sammy will end at 1 p.m.

For more information on “Finding Sammy,” contact the VPSS office at 936.294.1784.


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Simulator To Virtually Raise Awareness

The Dean of Students' Office and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative will take students on a virtual journey through a drunk driving accident on Tuesday (Oct. 13).

The 2009 "PEERS Aware III Simulator," a machine that allows students to experience drunk-driving accidents, will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Mall Area.

The tour will show incidences with varying levels of blood alcohol concentration and a crash scene involving passengers and other cars in different traffic venues.

The simulator includes screeching brakes, crying, screaming, sirens, flashing lights, blood, and injuries that have proven to make an impact on the drinking and driving behaviors of students.

It also provides the ability to implant a split-second delay on the part of the impaired driver that negatively affects responsiveness.

“This delay allows participants to experience virtually every tendency that a driver would endure while alcohol impaired,” said Lisa Joyner, ADAI assistant.

In addition, tour guides include those who have personally experienced drink-driving tragedies as passengers in drinking related crashes and by losing loved ones through these life-changing incidents.

“The 2009 PEERS Aware III Simulator" was designed to show students how alcohol affects reaction time and motor skills from a sober prospective," Keathley said. "This is a shocking, 'in-your-face' presentation of reality, addressing the very real and often fatal consequences of poor decisions."

The event is open to all students, faculty and staff members, as well as community members. Students can also receive co-curricular credit and Six Weeks of Alcohol Awareness Training points for participating in the tour.

For more information regarding the tour, call assistant dean of students Jeanine Bias at 936.294.3026.

Faculty members who want to send their classes to the "PEERS Aware III Simulator" may do so by contacting Keathley at 936.294.1171.


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Theatre Retells Greek Myth With ‘Eurydice’

The SHSU department of theatre and dance will provide a different perspective of the Greek myth of Orpheus with “Eurydice,” Tuesday through Saturday (Oct. 14-17).

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

Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice” retells the story of Orpheus through the eyes of his bride Eurydice.

The script chronicles Eurydice’s attempts to return to the world of the living and to Orpheus after being deceived into travelling to the underworld—where she is reunited with her father—on her wedding day.

The play stars Tasheena Miyagi, as Eurydice; Garret Storms, as Orpheus; and Sam Weeks, as her father.

The cast also includes theatre majors Ashtyn Sonner, Carlos Salinas, Jarrell Rochelle, and theatre minor Dayne Lathrop.

“Eurydice” is directed by SHSU theatre faculty Tom Prior, and the stage manager is senior theatre major Veronica LaCombe.

Designers include junior theatre major Mike Weiss, scenes/set; sophomore theatre major Vilija Tuminas, properties; and theatre faculty members Kristina Hanssen, costume; and Eric Marsh, lighting.

Co-composing music for the show is School of Music faculty member Brian Herrington and junior theatre major Josh Fehrmann.

“Eurydice” is the department of theatre and dance’s 2009-2010 participating entry in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

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


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Event To Showcase First Voyage To New World

The foreign language department will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with two showings of the National Geographic documentary on the discovery of the new world on Tuesday and Wednesday (Oct. 13-14).

The Dia de la Raza, or Columbus Day, presentations will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 1 p.m. on Wednesday in the Academic Building IV Olson Auditorium.

The documentary details the historically recorded reenactment of the first voyage of the European discovery of the new world, which took place on the 500th anniversary, on Oct. 12, 1992.

It also included the sailing of three replicas of the original "Pinta," "Niña," and "Santa María" ships from Spain to America, according to Joaquín Rodríguez-Barberá, assistant professor of Spanish.

The documentary will last approximately 50 minutes.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

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


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Planetarium To Explore ‘Pieces Of Glass’

The physics department will continue its voyage into outer space with its planetarium series program presentation of “Two Small Pieces of Glass” on Friday (Oct. 16).

The series, designed to show attendees which constellations, stars and planets they can expect to see in the upcoming weeks, will be held from 7-8:15 p.m. in the planetarium, located in Farrington Building Room 102.

“Two Small Pieces of Glass” is “a journey through the history of modern astronomy from the perspective of two youths who learn about the different types of telescopes and who invented them,” including Galileo, Isaac Newton and Edwin Hubble, according to Michael Prokosch, physics department staff laboratory assistant.

The Planetarium seats up to 29 visitors and includes a dome that is approximately 18 feet in diameter and more than 20 feet high in the center, according to Prokosch.

One additional showing of “Two Small Pieces of Glass” will be held on Nov. 13, while showings of the other planetarium presentation, “Bad Astronomy,” will be on Oct. 30, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11.

For more information on current show times for the planetarium or the observatory, call 936.294.3664 or e-mail Prokosch at or visit the Planetarium WikiPage at


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Ensemble, Chorale To Be Featured At Concerts

The SHSU School of Music will showcase the group of assistant professor of percussion John Lane on Tuesday (Oct. 13).

Lane's Pulsus Percussion Ensemble, which also includes two other Texas music professors, will give audiences a preview of their upcoming Percussive Arts Society International Convention performance at 7:30 p.m. in Music Building Room 202.

Formed in 2006, Pulsus focuses on “performing works that are firmly rooted in each member’s own expertise,” according to Lane.

“The group regularly performs music composed by its own members, strives to develop relationships with established and emerging composers, and performs seminal percussion music of the 20th and 21st Centuries,” he said.

The ensemble also includes Christopher Deane from the University of North Texas, and Brian Zator from Texas A&M University-Commerce.

The concert is free for music students and faculty, $5 for other students and $10 for general admission.

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


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CMIT To Host 40th Jail Conference

More than 160 sheriffs, jail administrators, and jail personnel are expected to visit the Sam Houston State University campus Monday through Thursday (Oct. 12-15) for the 40th Annual Jail Conference in the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center.

Hosted by the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, the conference will allow participants to earn 20 hours of TCLEOSE credit, network with other corrections professionals from across the state, and enjoy dinner and games during the annual Casino Night held at the Walker County Fairgrounds, according to Jason Schwarz, CMIT staff associate.

In addition, exhibits will be set up in the lobby and adjacent areas of the Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday and Wednesday (Oct. 13-14).
Registration is still open and walk-ins are welcome.

Participants can register online at

TCLEOSE is the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education.

For more information, call CMIT at 936.294.1676.


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Holmes Named To National Honors Council

Maria Holmes, a recent graduate of SHSU’s instructional leadership master's program and administrative assistant for the Elliott T. Bowers Honors Program, was recently appointed to the honors and advising standing committee of the National Collegiate Honors Council.

“Working at the national level will give her access to information about many outstanding programs throughout the United States,” said Barbara Polnick, associate professor and instructional leadership coordinator in the educational leadership and counseling department.

The National Collegiate Honors Council is the professional association of honors programs and colleges.


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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: Bruce Erickson, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Oct. 9, 2009
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to




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Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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