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SHSU Update For Week Of April 24

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Biology Lecture To Look At ‘Unusual Plant’

Jay Bolin, a post-doctoral researcher at the Smithsonian Institute’s Botany Laboratory of Analytical Biology, will discuss the biology of a “very unusual parasitic plant,” Hydnora triceps, on Thursday (April 28).

The Biological Sciences Department Seminar Series lecture will begin at 4 p.m. in Lee Drain Building Room 214.

Bolin’s discussion will focus on his work on "Ecology and Evolution of the Parasitic Genus Hydnora," a primary African genus that represents an extreme form of parasitism, he said.

“(It) is termed a ‘holoparasite’ because it completely lacks chlorophyll and depends on its host for all of its water and nutritional requirements,” he said. “Without a direct requirement for sunlight, the adult Hydnora plant lack many features typical of green plants and are without roots, scales and leaves.

“Its appearance is so peculiar that the esteemed father of southern African botany, Carl Thunberg, mistook this strange parasitic plant first collected from the Western Cape of South Africa for a type of mushroom and initially described it as such,” Bolin said.

H. triceps completes its entire life-cycle, including flowering and fruiting, underground, which presents unique challenges for attracting pollinators, according to Chris Randle, SHSU assistant professor of molecular systematics.

“Its trap-like flowers appear to be primarily pollinated by ants,” Randle said. “Jay’s work on this very unusual plant included, I believe, more than a year in Namibia studying the plant in the arid conditions in which it grows.”

Bolin also currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor at both Trinity Washington University as well as Old Dominion.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Old Dominion University.

The lecture is open to the public.

For more information, contact Madhu Choudhary, assistant professor of biological sciences, at 936.294.4850.


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Program To Unveil Common Reader Book For Faculty

The Bearkats Read to Succeed program has announced Eric Larson’s novel “Isaac’s Storm,” a gripping account of the 1900 Galveston hurricane,” as the 2011-2012 freshmen common reader program book.

A faculty unveiling and curriculum infusion event for faculty members interested in incorporating the novel into their classes will be held on Friday (April 29), from noon to 2 p.m. in Teacher Education Center Room 279.

During the event, SHSU faculty experts will present historical, scientific, and sociological perspectives regarding the Galveston hurricane of 1900, and the Bearkats Read to Succeed committee will provide faculty with resources for possible inclusion in their curriculum.

Through the common reader program, incoming freshman are given a copy of the book to read over the summer. The book and related topics will be integrated into some of the classes they take through lectures, film series, participation in discussion groups, and course assignments, according to Kay Angrove, director of the First-Year Experience Office.

“The Bearkats Read to Succeed program will also sponsor supporting academic events during the semester in order to enrich the student and faculty experience,” she said.

The mission of the Bearkats Read to Succeed program is to create a common academic/intellectual experience for incoming freshmen, facilitate a campus-wide cross-disciplinary conversation, and enhance the community among students, faculty, and staff.

Faculty members interested in adopting the book for their classes, or those who would like more information, should contact Angrove at kangrove@shsu.edu,or visit the Bearkats Read to Succeed website, at http://www.shsu.edu/fye_www/read.html.

Those who would like to attend the unveiling event should RSVP to Marsha Harman at harman@shsu.edu.


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Center To Offer Study Relief For Parents

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center will relieve Bearkat parents of some finals stress by providing them with study time on May 4.

Free childcare will be available for children ages six months to 12 years old on that day from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

“We will have a movie, coloring books, and other basic activities for the children,” said Candi Harris, SAM Center staff associate. “Parents can bring a toy or two for their child if they wish.”

Children will be watched by student volunteers who will undergo a background check, and a professional staff member also will be there at all times. Parents will be able to study in the Study Skills Classroom, and their children will be in the next room with the volunteers.

“It is important to note that we have had the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services review our program, and they have issued us an exemption certificate,” Harris said. “This basically means that we are okay to proceed with this program without any type of regulation from a child care-licensing office, mostly due to the fact that the parents will be literally right next door and can be contacted at all times.”

Parents who are interested in participating must pre-register children by May 2 and sign a participation agreement with all of the program guidelines.

Students who would like to volunteer may also sign up with Harris.

For more information, contact Harris at ceh021@shsu.edu or 936.294.4628 or visit the SAM Center, located in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room 190.


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Literacy Event To Provide Games, Activities For Kids

The Huntsville Area Literacy Council will celebrate literacy as part of the International Day of the Child (El Día del Nino) on Saturday (April 30).

The Celebration of Literacy will be held from 12:30-3:30 p.m. in Sam Houston State University’s Teacher Education Center.

The event will include story telling, reader’s theatre, story reading, poetry reading, a book walk, face painting, and other activities related to reading for children ages 4-12 to enjoy, according to Sharon Lynch, professor of special education.

“The International Day of the Child (El Día del Nino) is held worldwide to celebrate the gift of children to the world,” Lynch said.

Bus transportation will be provided for families at noon at Sam Houston Elementary and Huntsville Intermediate School.

Admission is free.

The Huntsville Area Literacy Council comprises SHSU faculty, public school employees, service center employees, and Richard Lane, who retired from the Huntsville Public Library.

For more information, contact Lynch at lynch@shsu.edu or 936.294.1122.


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Recital To Feature Works Of French Composer

SHSU faculty soprano Rebecca Renfro Grimes and music theorist Kevin Clifton will present a lecture recital entitled "Poulenc and Friends" on Monday (April 25).

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The concert will feature songs by Francis Poulenc, as well as some of the poets and artists that he championed, sung in French, according to Grimes.

The concert is free and open to the public.

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


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Festival To Feature SHSU Animations

New animations by students and faculty in SHSU’s animation program will be presented on Thursday (April 28).

Animations from Sam will begin at 7 p.m. in the Smith-Hutson Building’s Mafrige Auditorium. A reception will precede the showings at 6 p.m.

Films presented during the festival will be awarded in categories for top submissions, as well as “audience favorite.”

“Some material may be mildly offensive, other material will be wildly inspiring, and most will be somewhere in-between,” said Diana Salles, assistant professor of art.

The event is sponsored by the SHSU art department and SHSU Siggraph.

Snacks will be served.

For more information, contact Salles at 936.294.3200 or dms033@shsu.edu.


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CMIT Hosts Women in Criminal Justice Conference

Sam Houston State University’s Correctional Management Institute of Texas recently offered a professional and personal development program for women working in the criminal justice system.

The two-and-a-half day conference, which was held in San Antonio, was attended by 137 women from sheriff offices; police and college police departments; adult and juvenile detention and probation; private prisons; and courts. Sessions were held on ethics, wellness, cultural diversity, defensive tactics, professional image, and female gangs.

“The Women Conference is always about professional and personal development,” said Natalie Payne, CMIT program coordinator. “It provides topics they can use in their professional and personal lives. They see how it can benefit them at work or at home with their spouses, significant others or children.”

The most popular session was on female gangs, presented by Victor M. Gonzalez, Jr., founder of Gang Response Intervention Prevention Services, who discussed that while there is little research available, females may make up 3 to 38 percent of gang membership, depending on researcher, the gang and region of the country being studied.

Women join gangs for acceptance, protection, money, boyfriends, power, abuse avoidance, friends, or drugs, and female gangs are very different from male gangs, he said.

Females in gangs can be used for such things as relaying message, gathering intelligence, setting up rivals, acting as accomplices in crime, carrying weapons or attracting new recruits. They are often overlooked by police, but commit crimes ranging from burglary to murder, Gonzalez said.

“I thought it was great,” said Becky Henderson, a court administrator from the 198th and 216th Courts in Kerr County. “The speakers were wonderful and very informative, especially Victor Gonzalez. His topic was very, very interesting, and I learned a lot.”

Women at the CMIT conference also learned how to develop their leadership qualities through self-assessment tools and how to maintain a professional image in the field through a fashion show of dos and don’ts of a wardrobe for work.

They discovered how to protect themselves through defensive tactics and tackled cultural diversity by learning about the different races, cultures and sexual orientations they meet in their day-to-day activities.


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Regional Crime Lab Testing For Synthetic Marijuana

The possession of or sale of synthetic marijuana substances became illegal in the State of Texas at midnight on April 22, and Sam Houston State University’s Regional Crime Lab has the capacity to help with the enforcement of this law.

The Regional Crime Lab in The Woodlands has developed tests to detect the illegal substances and has been routinely analyzing for the substances since January. The accredited, independent crime lab provides fee-based services for controlled substances and toxicology in criminal and civil cases, as well as death investigations.

Products like K2 or Spice, which are marketed as herbal incense, contain substances that produce psychoactive effects similar to those from smoking marijuana. These marijuana-like substances are readily available through smoke shops, gas stations, and the Internet.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration used its emergency scheduling authority to temporarily ban synthetic marijuana or similar “fake pot” products that mimic the effects of marijuana. The DEA action on March 2 made it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess these products for at least one year.

The state has placed five synthetic cannabinoid substances in Schedule I of the Texas Schedules of Controlled Substances, making it illegal to manufacture, distribute, possess and sell the substances.

Penalties for the manufacture, sale, or possession with intent to deliver synthetic marijuana like K2 or Spice are Class A misdemeanors. Possession of the banned substances is a Class B misdemeanor.

Schedule I, the most restrictive category on the Texas Schedules of Controlled Substances, is reserved for unsafe, highly abused substances with no accepted medical use. Five chemicals, JWH -018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol that are found in K2 were placed on the schedule.

Since January 2010, approximately 600 calls have been made to the Texas Poison Center Network related to K2 exposure. Reported adverse effects associated with use of these marijuana-like substances include chest pain, heart palpitations, agitation, drowsiness, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and confusion.


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Today@Sam Seeks Summer Calendar Info

The University Communications Office is now collecting information on campus events for its summer and fall calendar pages.

Departmental calendars or events can be sent to today@sam.edu or jenniferg@shsu.edu or faxed to 294.1834. Please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

Information collected for the Today@Sam calendar pages, at http://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/calendars/, is used by various media outlets, as well as the Communications Office for news stories and releases.

All information, including story ideas and update items for Today@Sam, should be sent a minimum of a week in advance of the event in order to make necessary contacts and write a story.

For more information, call 936.294.1836.


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Send Update Items Here

Information for the SHSU Update can be sent to the Office of Communications electronically at Today@Sam.edu 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
April 22, 2011
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu




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Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu.

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