SHSU Update For Week Of Sept. 6



Veterans Center To Open With Ceremony

Sam Houston State University will officially open its Veterans Resource Center on Thursday (Sept. 10).

The ribbon cutting ceremony, which will include speeches by university President Jim Gaertner and alumnus Col. John McManners, will be held at 3 p.m. at the center, on the first floor of the Estill Building.

The VRC will provide a “one-stop shop” for veterans returning to college after service and act as a liaison between outside and university resources, according to Kathy Hudson, SHSU’s Veteran Resource Center coordinator.

In addition to processing information for veterans, reservists, National Guard members and dependents for GI Bill benefits, the center will serve as a place where veterans can find and communicate with one another.

“We’ll hopefully work as a social center for the veterans so they can get together,” Hudson said. “We will have coffee available anytime they want to stop by. We will have a bulletin board set up for them to post announcements or any communication.”

In addition, the VRC will offer services such as free use of a copier and fax machine for educational or VA related materials and will have computers and printers available for veterans to use.

“We will work with the students and different offices on campus or off to see that the Veteran has the help or resources he or she needs,” Hudson said. “We will bring off campus assistance to our campus for them any time we can.

“We hope to plan programs for the veterans to enhance their educational experience and honor them for their service.”
Refreshments will be served during the open house.

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


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Alcohol, Drug Summit To Be Held Over Weekend

The SHSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative will work to raise awareness of substance use and abuse, while attempting to strengthen healthy attitudes during the fourth annual Alcohol and Drug Summit Sept. 11-12.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday, followed by a series of breakout panels and a lunch and keynote address by NCAA-sanctioned speaker Rick Barnes, who will discuss "Drink Think: A Personal Approach to Alcohol," which details an individual's responsibility with alcohol consumption.

Throughout the day, participants will have the opportunity to attend as many as seven interactive sessions covering more than 20 topics on various alcohol-, drug-, supplement-, sex- and safety-related issues.

Saturday’s sessions, which coincide with Bearkat Family Weekend, will include a keynote address by alcohol educators Mary and Bill Hill on “Motivating Millennials to Change the Social Culture” and breakout sessions during which parents can learn from SHSU representatives about the university’s alcohol and drug policies, campus resources for students in need of services relating to use, and how to recognize signs of use in students.

Registration for the summit is free for both SHSU and Huntsville community members and can be submitted online or printed from

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


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Families To Visit Huntsville For Weekend

More than 2,000 parents, siblings and other relatives are expected to say ‘aloha’ to SHSU beginning Friday (Sept. 11) for Bearkat Family Weekend.

Check-in for this year’s Hawaiian-themed weekend will be Saturday, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Lowman Center Mall Area, followed by a number of activities, including open houses, a carnival, a luau featuring Hawaiian entertainment, a classic car cruise-in and culminating with the pre-game tailgate party and football game versus North Dakota State at 6 p.m. at Bowers Stadium.

Families will also have the opportunity to visit with Bearkat OneCard, Financial Aid and Registrar’s Office representatives and take campus tours through the Visitor Center.

“Bearkat Family Weekend is an opportunity for families to see what their students are involved with here on campus and to have a great time,” said Kimberly Spradlin, Dean of Students’ Office program coordinator. “Sam Houston values their students and the trust parents give us with their students. We want to give them the best service for what they’re paying for.”

Tickets for the football game will be sold separately for $25 for reserved seats with a chair back, $15 for general admission, and children under the age of six are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at, at the gate on game day or at the field house until 4 p.m. on Friday.

For more information or a complete schedule of events, visit the Parent/Family Weekend Web site, at, or call the Dean of Students' Office at 936.294.1785.


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Texas Prof To Discuss Tanzania Ecosystem

Denné Reed, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, will discuss his research on the Serengeti ecosystem of northern Tanzania on Thursday (Sept. 10).

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

Reed’s lecture, "Ecological Gradients and Small Mammal Community Composition in the Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania: A Paleoecological Perspective," examines patterns of small mammals (such as rodents) in the Serengeti based on their occurrence in owl-pellet collections, according to Reed’s Web site.

“He’s looking at how the small mammal communities have changed over time and how those changes related to how the environment has changed in that particular area of Africa,” said Chad Hargrave, assistant professor of biological sciences.

Reed’s research interests also include human evolution, terrestrial paleoecology, taphonomy (the study of plant and animal remains as they become fossilized), GIS and remote sensing. He has research projects in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya and Morocco, according to his Web site.

Held each Thursday, the Biological Science Department Seminar Series lectures are intended for the public and address current research being conducted by that professor.

“The data will be presented in a way that should be watered down enough for anyone from the general public to understand,” Hargrave said. “It’s kind of like a more scientific Discovery Channel.”

For more information, contact Hargrave at 936.294.1543.

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Chemistry To Host Seminar

A seminar sponsored by the department of chemistry will be held Friday (Sept. 11) at 1 p.m. in Chemistry and Forensic Science Building Room 103.

The speakers, both from Texas A&M University, are Dow Chair in Chemical Invention and distinguished professor of chemistry John A. Gladysz and professor of chemistry Janet Bluemel.

Gladysz’s topic is “An organometallic chemist’s quest for insulated molecular wires and molecular gyroscopes.”

Bluemel will discuss “Immobilized Catalysts with superior lifetimes and activities: A solid state NMR study.”

For more information, call the chemistry department at 936.294.1532.


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Dana Andrews Film Festival Set For Sept. 12

The Political Science Junior Fellows and Friends of the Wynne will pay homage to a former Bearkat by showing his two most famous films on Saturday (Sept. 12).

The Dana Andrews Film Festival will be held from 5:30-10 p.m. at the Wynne Home Arts Center.

The festival will kick off with “The Ox-Bow Incident,” a western classic from 1943 that stars Andrews, Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The second feature is “Laura”—also starring Gene Tierney, Vincent Price and Judith Anderson—which has been considered one of the greatest crime dramas ever made, according to junior fellows president Megan Bryant. It will begin at 8 p.m.
Andrews, who graduated from Huntsville High School and attended Sam Houston in the 1920s, acted in more than 75 films from 1940 until 1985 and also appeared in many television programs.

Between the two films, professor of journalism at the City University of New York’s Baruch College Carl Rollyson, who is currently writing a biography on Andrews, will give a short presentation entitled “From Huntsville to Hollywood: The Dana Andrews Story” and a reception will be held. Rollyson will conduct interviews and archival research for the biography during his four-day stay in Huntsville.

“The film festival is in honor of Dana Andrews’ centenary and is timed to coincide with the 165th anniversary of the First Baptist Church in Huntsville, which will be celebrated on Sept. 13,” Bryant said.

The festival is free for both the SHSU and Huntsville communities.

The Wynne Home Arts Center is located at 1428 11th St.

For more information, contact Mike Yawn, Political Science Junior Fellows adviser, at 936.294.1456.


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Program To Teach Residents About County Government

The Political Science Junior Fellows and Walker County officials have partnered to host County U, a free program designed to help local residents learn more about their county government.

The five-week program will meet Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m., beginning Sept. 23 through Oct. 21.

“This is a crash course on county government,” said junior fellows president Megan Bryant. “There are a number of services that the county provides that some residents may not be familiar with. This will give local residents the opportunity not only to meet their local officials, but also learn about the services and structure of county government.”

The program will alternate each week between presentations by county officials, who will discuss their jobs, duties and responsibilities, and interactive learning through such things as question and answer sessions, tours and even a ride on a fire truck, according to Bryant.

Tours will include the Walker County Courthouse, Walker County Annex, District Attorney’s Office Building, Walker County Jail, the Walker County Storm Shelter, the fire department, and several of the county’s historic homes.

“A lot of people, including myself, aren’t as knowledgeable about county government as we could be,” Bryant said. “We wanted to create a fun and educational program open to all local residents to learn more about their County government and officials.”

County U was designed after a similar program created by Stephanie Brim, SHSU’s information resources marketing coordinator who previously served as community services director for the City of Huntsville.

"We think it will be a rewarding experience for everyone,” said junior fellows vice president Laken Jenkins.

Attendance for County U is limited to 20. There is no registration fee, and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
In addition, participants should be committed to attending at least four of the five sessions.

For more information, or to register, call Brim at 936.577.9623.


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Banner Meetings To Introduce, Update SHSU

The SHSU Banner Project Management Team will host the second series of Town Hall meetings to introduce and update the campus on the project.

On Friday (Sept. 11), the team will provide an overview of what the system is, why the switch was needed and other general information for new faculty and staff members, or those who missed the June sessions, with an “Intro To Banner” session from 9-10 a.m.

“Although the project officially kicked off earlier this spring, there are employees in various departments and divisions who may not know fully what Banner will be bringing to campus. Additionally, as with any new system, there have been some bumps in the road, most recently with Financial Aid,” said Jacob Chandler, Banner Project Manager and Director of Administrative Applications for Computer Services.

“These town hall meetings will be an opportunity to answer general questions on the project, and bring everyone up to speed on where we are in the process, and what we anticipate in the near future,” he said.

From 10-11 a.m., a “Banner Update—Fall 2009” session will be held.

Both Sept. 11 meetings will be held in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room C070.

On Sept. 16, a repeat of the fall “Banner Update” meeting will be held from 1-2 p.m. in CHSS Room C090.

The meetings are open to all faculty, staff and students, and for those who cannot attend, future town hall meetings are anticipated to be held on a quarterly basis through the life of the project over the next two and a half years, according to Stephanie Brim, Information Resources Marketing Coordinator.

Meetings with smaller groups can also be requested for a more in-depth, operational “look” at what Banner will do for their particular area.

For more information, contact Brim at 936.294.2698 or for more information about the Banner system, e-mail or visit


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Alumni To Welcome Faculty, Staff With Party

The Office of Alumni Relations will say “Aloha!” to the new semester on Thursday (Sept. 10) during its annual Party on the Patio.

The “welcome back” for faculty and staff members will be held from 4-6 p.m. on the Alumni Patio of the John R. Ragsdale Visitor and Alumni Center, located at the corner of the Estill Building and University Avenue.

Appetizers and drinks will be served, and attendees will be given the opportunity to become members of the Alumni Association for a reduced fee of $25.

For more information, call 936.294.1841.


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Art To Show Off New Faculty Talent

The art department will introduce and showcase its new faculty members with an exhibit beginning Tuesday (Sept. 8) in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

The “New Faculty Spotlight” exhibit will feature works of three of the four new professors, including Diana Salles, Annie Strader and W. Anthony Watkins.

Salles, assistant professor of animation, has made animations, character models and interfaces for video games for more than 10 years with credits including being a part of the team that took Madden Football to 3-D and creating the character models for Guitar Hero III for Play Station 2.

Salles comes to Huntsville from New York, where she was a visiting assistant professor of art at Syracuse University's department of transmedia.

She received her Master of Fine Art degree in medical illustration from the University of Michigan.

Strader, assistant professor of ceramics, has exhibited works all over the country, including at The 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Va.; The Roy G Biv Gallery in Columbus, Ohio; and The Athens Institute for Contemporary Art in Athens, Ga.

Strader, who said she draws inspiration for her work between “well-defined points” of consonance and conflict, received her MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio University.

She previously served as a visiting artist at Wichita State University.

Watkins, assistant professor of graphic design, has had his work recognized by Graphic Design USA, HOW magazine, The American Advertising Federation and Time magazine online.

Among his professional credits are working at ADCO Creative in Columbia, S.C. He comes to SHSU from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La.

Watkins received his MFA in graphic design from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

An exhibit reception, during which time attendees can meet the new faculty, will be held on Thursday (Sept. 10), from 5-7 p.m., in the Gallery.

For more information, contact Debbie Davenport Harper, art department audio visual librarian, at 936.294.1317.


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Career Services To Give Resume, Work Study Advice

Career Services will help students get their resumes on track for the upcoming 2009 Career Expo and teach students how to utilize the work-study program on campus with five workshops beginning Wednesday (Sept. 9).

That day, career counselors will critique and offer advise on resumes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

At 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. that day, students looking for an on-campus job can learn how to apply for the work-study program through the Jobs 4 Kats Web site during a workshop in Academic Building IV Suite 210.

“Financial Aid will come and talk about how work study works, the number of hours students are allowed to work and the amount of money they are allotted,” said Paige Andrews, Career Services job fair and special events coordinator. “I think what happens a lot of times is that a student doesn’t know that they’re work-study eligible, or they just don’t work enough and utilize the money that’s out there.”

Participating in the work-study program is mutually beneficial for both students and the departments they work in, Andrews said.

“The thing about work study is that it doesn’t come out of our budget, it comes out of a federal budget; they’re giving us this money on behalf of this student, and it’s up to the student to use it,” she said. “It behooves the departments to hire work-study students because it doesn’t come out of their budget.”

Work-study workshops also will be held on Thursday (Sept. 10), at 11 a.m. and at 2 p.m. in the Career Services suite.

For more information, contact Andrews at 936.294.1714.

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Education Honors ‘Outstanding’ Faculty

The SHSU College of Education awarded five of its faculty members for their “outstanding” work in the areas of civic engagement, teaching, research, grantsmanship and service during their annual meeting on Aug. 21.

Recognized were educational leadership and counseling faculty members Carol Hightower-Parker, Outstanding Civic Engagement; John Slate, Outstanding Researcher; Stacey Edmonson, Outstanding Grantsmanship; and Mack T. Hines, III, Outstanding Service; as well as curriculum and instruction faculty member Bobby Ezell, Outstanding Teaching.

An associate professor in the educational leadership and counseling department, Hightower was awarded for civic engagement because of her “commitment to addressing public and global concerns in society and raising her students’ level of concern regarding societal issues,” according to awards committee chair Dianne Reed.

“A prolific writer and researcher,” since coming to SHSU in 2007 Slate, an EDLC professor, has had at least 16 referred articles in press; 22 referred articles published; one referred book chapter in press with Sage Publications and one book under construction with Sage Publications.

An associate professor in the EDLC department, Edmonson’s grantmanship award was based on the dollar amount of grants brought to the university: $2 million in funding for her department, which has funded degrees for students seeking Master of Arts degrees in instructional leadership with concentrations in special education.

Assistant professor of EDLC, Hines’ service has included mentoring elementary-school age males at the North Forest school district and organized the Kapanga Project in Hempstead, which provides African American parents with strategies for improving mathematic achievement of their children; as well as Hempstead’s Black Parents’ Forum, which provides parents the opportunity to express their views regarding strengthening partnerships with schools.

As an “outstanding teacher” in the curriculum and instruction department, Ezell, an assistant professor, was described as someone who “makes learning fun and relevant,” “exhibits dedication to teaching every day” and “unselfishly gives of himself for the betterment of SHSU,” while being “creative, enthusiastic, and caring.”


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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
Sept. 4, 2009
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Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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