SHSU Update For Week Of Sept. 13



Baseball Historian To Discuss, Sign Book

Attorney and author Talmage Boston will discuss the history of baseball and changes the game has seen since World War II on Wednesday (Sept. 16).

The lecture will be held at 2 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 320.

Boston, a baseball historian, has written two books on the sport. His first, 1939: Baseball's Tipping Point, chronicled what Boston describes as the formative year in baseball's development.

Baseball and the Baby Boomer, Boston's second book, chronicles this history of baseball over the past 60 years, highlighting major figures in the sport such as Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Roger Maris, and Nolan Ryan to document the game's changes following World War II.

Boston’s father, Paul Boston, taught in SHSU's business department in 1947-1948 and will return to campus for the first time in 61 years to hear his son speak.

The book is described by Tim McCarver as a "powerful statement of what baseball has meant to America's fans since World War II;" praised by Nolan Ryan as "bringing baseball stories to life;" and prompted John Grisham, who wrote the foreword to Baseball and the Baby Boomer, to plead "Talmage, keep writing and give up the law."

Boston, an alumnus of the University of Texas Law School, is an attorney with Winstead P.C., one of the 10 largest law firms in Texas.
He is one of only 100 lawyers in the state of Texas certified in both civil trial law and civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has published more than 21 opinions and arguments before the Texas Supreme Court and the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In addition, he was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 as a media member.

Following the lecture will be a book signing.

The event is open to the public.

Refreshments will be provided, courtesy of the SHSU President's Office.

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


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Tech Prof To Discuss Impact Of Bacteria, Stress On Body

Mark Lyte, professor of clinical research and sciences at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, will discuss the work he does in "microbial endocrinology" on Thursday (Sept. 17).

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

“Microbial endocrinology” refers to microbes communicating with each other using chemical signals, “just like different cells in humans send hormonal signals to each other,” according to biological science department chair, Todd Primm, SHSU’s “microbiologist,” adding that “microbial” refers to microscopic organisms, mainly bacteria, while “endocrinology” is the study of hormones and their effects.

“His (Lyte’s) novel contribution is that many microbes can actually detect and respond to hormones used in animal systems, most notably, stress hormones,” Primm said. “This may be a part of their ability to infect humans and other animals.

“This also alters our fundamental view of bacteria; most people think of bacteria as tiny individual cells, which work on their own,” he said. “This is likely not the case most of the time. While bacteria are technically single-celled, they often work as a group, a population, communicating with each other and sharing tasks and functions; so in a sense, are a multicellular organism.”

Lyte’s work has led to the discovery that bacteria, while living in the human intestine, “can specifically detect and respond to human hormones.

“They are listening in on our bodies signals, tiny eavesdroppers,” Primm said.

Held each Thursday, the seminar series is intended for the public and addresses current research being conducted by that 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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Junior Fellows Host Care-Package Drive For Troops

Sam Houston State University students, faculty and staff members, as well as Huntsville residents, can help provide troops in Iraq and Afghanistan with a sweet treat, some entertainment or other necessities during a community-wide care package drive being held this month.

Organized by the Political Science Junior Fellows, the drive will involve different groups who will volunteer to collect a particular item during the month of September. The drive will culminate on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, when the care packages will be assembled, according to Mike Yawn, junior fellows adviser.

"The organization is doing this to support a worthy cause, while also providing a vehicle for the community to work together," said Megan Bryant, junior fellows president.

The junior fellows are collecting CDs and DVDs to distribute to the soldiers for their entertainment, while the College of Education will collect packages of Gummi Bears to send to the troops, with the goal of sending 500 packages overseas, according to Maggie McGuire, assistant professor of early childhood education.

Boxes for the Gummi Bears will be placed throughout the Teacher Education Center, the Newton Gresham Library and the Health and Kinesiology Center in which participants can drop off bags of Gummi Bears. In addition, department secretaries will accept cash donations to help with postage.

“I chose Gummi Bears because they are inexpensive, and even if they melt together, they are still edible,” McGuire said.

“The idea is that the community of Huntsville, businesses, people, university come together to support our troops serving in the war zone,” she said.

Other participating groups include the Huntsville YMCA, which is having its pre-kindergarteners through sixth graders create cards for the troops and its teens will create artistic bookmarks using Indian bead weaving techniques to be given to children in those countries; the Montgomery school district is collecting school supplies for the schools built by the soldiers; and other organizations are collecting canned items to supplement the MREs (ready-to-eat meals).

Yawn said the goal is to fill at least 80-100 boxes for the troops.

For more information, to start a drive, or for a complete list of organizations participating in the drive and/or drop off points, contact Yawn at or 936.294.1456.


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TADD To Discuss Safe Driving

Those Against Drunk Driving representative Judith Tomilson will discuss making smart decisions while out having fun, including having a designated driver or not drinking at all, on Wednesday (Sept. 16).

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

TADD is a partner of SHSU’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative in educational efforts on campus and in the community.

“TADD is a non-profit organization aiming to spread their word far and wide and to change peoples attitudes towards not drinking and driving through education and providing viable alternatives,” said Lisa Joyner, ADAI assistant. “Through their educational and outreach programs, individuals can make behavioral changes, plans, and commitments to promote safe driving.”

The event is part of the ADAI’s Six Weeks of Alcohol Awareness Training program. Through SWAAT, students earn prizes by attending events, which accumulate as students attend more programs.

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


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Guest Performances Kick Off Music Season

Two guest performances will help the SHSU School of Music tune up for the fall as the first concerts of the semester.

Members of the Houston Symphony Orchestra will join SHSU assistant professor of piano Ilonka Rus during the Chamber Music Concert on Tuesday (Sept. 15), at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

Part of the Guest Artist Series, the program will include a Johannes Brahms quintet and a Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart quartet.

Prior to the concert, cellist Jeffrey Butler and violist Wei Jiang will conduct a master class for students from 4-6 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

“It is a wonderful opportunity and source of inspiration for students to come and watch such fine musicians teach and perform,” Rus said.

Admission is free.

The Austin-based Rattletree will perform a concert filled with high-energy dance and trance marimba music on Sept. 20.

The percussion concert will be held at 4 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

Founded in 2001, Rattletree is a marimba band that plays traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music.

The band consists of two soprano marimbas, bass marimba, baritone, drum set, hosho (shakers), congas, bells and other percussion.

The music, which includes Zimbabwean chants and intricate percussion ensembles, is varied and intense, but “the one constant aspect of Rattletree’s music is the perpetual flow of high energy, which transfers itself to the audience-creating an immediate dancing frenzy,” according to bandleader Joel Laviolette.

The concert is free for SHSU music students; $5 for SHSU students and $10 for the public.

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


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Workshop To Teach ‘Hopelessly Busy’ To Play Guitar

Music aficionados who would like to become versed in playing the guitar but don’t have the time for lessons will have the opportunity to learn the basics with a two-hour workshop on Oct. 3.

“Instant Guitar for Hopelessly Busy Adults,” sponsored by the SHSU Office of Continuing Education, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Led by Alan Richards, the one-time, two-hour hour class will teach the basic chords on the guitar that will help participants start playing their favorite songs right away, according to Carolyn Gaines, Continuing Education coordinator.

“The easy to understand instruction book and DVD used in class enable you to keep practicing at home,” she said.

Richards also discusses some of the common mistakes people make and the hurdles that prevent them from learning the guitar.

“Instant Guitar for Hopelessly Busy Adults” is designed for the absolute beginner and the emphasis is on fun, not technical perfection.

While participants don’t need to know anything about music or the guitar to attend the class, an acoustic guitar is required.

The cost of the class is $30 when registering, plus $29 for materials that will be collected in class.

Participants can register in the Continuing Education Office, at 1825 Sycamore Ave. or on the corner of Sycamore Avenue and Bowers Boulevard. The registration deadline is Sept. 28.

The office is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 936.294.3869.


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Career Services To Prepare Students For Job Expo

Career Services will help gear students “toward helping them succeed at the Career Expo” with two events beginning Wednesday (Sept. 16).

That day, Career Services and a number of representatives from agencies participating in the expo will be on hand for the Career Expo Kick-Off Party, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

The football-themed event will include corn dogs, popcorn and lemonade served in stadium cups, as well as a special appearance by Sammy Bearkat and “tons of prizes,” according to Paige Andrews, CS job fair and special events coordinator.

Participants should bring their Bearkat OneCard to swipe during the event, which will enter them into a raffle drawing for one of two iPod Shuffles.

Other prizes include bowling for 10, a round of golf for four, tanning packages, free oil changes and a set of free nails, as well as gift certificates to various businesses and restaurants around Huntsville.

On Thursday (Sept. 17), career counselors will teach students how to perfect their resumes with the “Effective Resume Writing Workshop,” from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Career Services Seminar Room, located in Academic Building IV Suite 210.

All workshops are free but are limited to 35 students. Students can reserve a spot on the Jobs 4 Kats Web site, through the Career Services Web site.

The 2009 Career Expo will be held on Sept. 23.

For more information, contact Career Services at 936.294.1713 or


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SAM Center To Give Study Tips

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center will teach students to “study smart” during its workshop series beginning on Monday (Sept. 14).

The first Study Skills Workshop Series is comprised of 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 on a variety of days and times to accommodate student schedules.

Late-start series of the session will begin Oct. 7 and Oct. 19, and the second series will begin Oct. 26.

All sessions will be held in the SAM Center, located in College of Humanities and Social Science Building Suite 170.

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

For more information, call 936.294.4444, e-mail or visit the SAM Center, in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Suites 170 and 190.

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Thibodeaux Presents Book in Canada

Terry M. Thibodeaux recently participated in the World Acadian Congress in New Brunswick, Canada, a gathering of thousands of Acadian descendants from around the world that occurs every five years.

Thibodeaux, a professor of communication studies, was an invited speaker at the reunion of the Thibodeau(x) and Broussard families in the St-Isidore and Tracadie/Sheila communities. Following his presentation, on his novel Catherine’s Cadeau, he signed copies of the book.

The World Acadian Congress consisted of events, gatherings, and programs in communities throughout Northeast New Brunswick province from Aug. 7-22.

The next World Acadian Congress is planned for 2014 for the border communities of Madawaska at the northern tip of Maine and Edmunston in northwestern New Brunswick.

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Mallen Analyzes Picasso Poetry For Concordance

While Pablo Picasso is best known for his artistic output, his literary creations have recently become the focus of attention, according to foreign languages professor and Picasso expert Enrique Mallén.

A “prolific writer,” Picasso wrote in a style that could be difficult to interpret, not only because his writings are in Spanish but because they fall within Surrealism.

So difficult, in fact, that it took Mallén more than three years to compile an index of the words Picasso used in his poetry.

The result of this “extremely arduous” undertaking is the two volume “A Concordance of Pablo Picasso’s Spanish Writings Book One and Book Two.” The 928-page volumes, including a lengthy critical introduction to Picasso's poetry in English, were published in July by Edwin Mellen Press.

“The concordance details exactly where each word Picasso ever used in his Spanish poems occurs, by providing the title of the poem or play that contains the word and the date it was written,” Mallén said. “Each word also gives an appropriate English translation as well as grammatical specifications that are relevant to its interpretation.

“Concordances are extremely useful to understand the usage of terms by an author,” he said. “In Picasso's case, given the difficult interpretation of his Surrealist texts, it is very important to isolate the meaning of each word and to examine how words work together in different phrases.”

This also helps create a better understanding of themes Picasso used and the correlation between those themes, according to SHSU Spanish professor Rafael Saumell-Munoz.

“Mallen’s concordance clearly demonstrates that, in Picasso’s Spanish poems, certain semantic domains are predominant,” he said in a book review. “For instance, Picasso is more inclined to refer to food items and everyday objects in his native language, which provides a clear reflection of his physical environment and of the harsh economic situation of this time. This appears to point to a certain correlation between native language and concrete concepts.”

The concordance can be purchased online for $179.95 through the Mellen Press Web site.


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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. 11, 2009
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Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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