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SHSU Update For Week Of Aug. 21

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English Department Adds American Studies Minor

The SHSU English department is offering a new, interdisciplinary minor this year in American studies.

The American studies minor explores aspects of American life and culture locally, nationally, and within the global community, according to Nancy Baker, assistant professor of history.

“It enables students to take courses from a variety of disciplines, including literature, history, political science, psychology, sociology, communication studies and criminal justice,” she said.

“A minor in American studies is particularly useful for students majoring in education, pre-law, communications, or those planning to attend graduate school in any of the listed fields,” Baker said.

Students who choose the American studies minor will complete 18 semester credit hours of study, to include one required course, “Introduction to American Studies,” and five elective courses.

Interested students should ask their academic adviser about declaring a minor in the field.

For more information, visit http://www.shsu.edu/catalog/eng.html#minor_amst, or contact Julie Hall, professor of English, at eng_jeh@shsu.edu or 936.294.1417.


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Family Weekend To Bring Mardi Gras To Campus

2011 family weekend logoSam Houston State University will help students’ relatives “build their Bearkat Pride” with a variety of activities that will introduce them to campus during this year’s Bearkat Family Weekend Sept. 16-18.

“Bearkat Family Weekend offers many specially-planned events and activities including open houses, campus tours, faculty presentations, a tailgate party and a special event where families mix and mingle with the administrators of the university,” said Chelsea Smith, parent relations and programming coordinator for the Dean of Students' Office.

Activities scheduled for this year’s Mardi Gras-themed weekend include coffee with administrators; a Mardi Gras festival that will include a performance by Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws; a Cajun-style lunch; a carnival on the concourse; a classic car cruise-in; and tailgating before the Bearkats versus Central Arkansas football game.

Registration is $7 per student and $12 per family member, which includes a welcome gift, continental breakfast, catered lunch, and the pre-game tailgate party.

The registration deadline is Friday (Aug. 26).

For more information, visit www.shsu.edu/weekend or call the Dean of Students’ Office at 936.294.1785.


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UT Health Sciences Prof To Kick Off Fall Seminar Series

Samuel Kaplan, one of the leading microbiologists in the world, will kick off the SHSU Biological Sciences Department Seminar Series for the fall on Thursday (Aug. 25).

“A Bottom-Up Approach to Gene Function in Rhodobacter Sphaeroides” will be presented from 4-5 p.m. in Lee Drain Building Room 214.

Kaplan teaches at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

His research interests are to understand the roles of oxygen and light in the regulation of gene expression in Rhodobacter sphaeroides, a kind of purple bacteria that can obtain energy through photosynthesis.

“He uses a variety of molecular genetic analysis and genome expression analysis approaches to investigate the effects of light and oxygen that respond to a variety of biochemical signals,” said Madhu Choudhary, SHSU assistant professor of biological sciences.

“The processing of these signals are then mediated through electron transport chains, resulting in the control of gene expression, and that in turn provide the metabolic versatility of the microorganisms,” he said.

Kaplan received his doctorate from University of California-San Diego in 1963 and carried out his post-doctoral work under Sydney Brenner, a Nobel Laureate at MRC laboratories, in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has authored more than 200 research publications and received numerous National Institutes of Health grants and awards.
The lecture is open to the public.

For more information, contact Choudhary at 936.294.4850.


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Math Colloquium To Feature Award-Winning Writer

Ivars Peterson, an award-winning mathematics writer, will discuss “Pancake Sorting, Prefix Reversals, and DNA Rearrangements” on Friday (Aug. 26) from 2-3 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

Sponsored by the Office of the American Mathematical Monthly, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the College of Sciences, the guest lecture will address the problem that attracted attention of noted mathematicians and computer scientists when first proposed and “now plays an important role in the realm of molecular biology for making sense of DNA arrangements,” according to Peterson.

“The seemingly simple problem of sorting a stack of differently sized pancakes has become a staple of theoretical computer science and led to insights into the evolution of species,” he said.

Peterson is director of publications and communications for the Mathematical Association of America in Washington, D.C.

He previously worked at Science News for more than 25 years and served as editor of Science News Online and Science News for Kids. His books include “The Mathematical Tourist,” “Islands of Truth,” “Newton's Clock,” “The Jungles of Randomness,” and “Fragments of Infinity: A Kaleidoscope of Math and Art.”

In 1991, he received the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics Communications Award recognizing him for his "exceptional ability and sustained effort in communicating mathematics to a general audience."

Peterson earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physics and chemistry and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toronto, before earning a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The lecture is geared toward students and is open to the campus community.

For more information, contact Bonnie Ponce, editorial assistant for the American Mathematical Monthly, currently housed at SHSU, at bponce@shsu.edu or 936.294.3523.


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Student Organizes Festival For Cancer Fundraiser

On Saturday (Aug. 27) afternoon, Sam Houston State University junior Justen Barber will be setting up tents and organizing last-minute details for what he said he hopes will be “a music filled day in Huntsville unlike any before.”

By Saturday night, Huntsville’s first cancer benefit music festival “Rave for the Cure” will be well underway, bringing new and old students together to dance, let loose, and raise money to fight cancer.

Rave2Save will begin at 4 p.m. Friday at Intramural Field No. 3.

“An event of this kind will bring so many new participants into the fight against cancer that haven’t gotten involved elsewhere before, or feel like they can do more,” Barber said. “College students love to go out, dance, and have a good time. This time, with Rave2Save, everyone gets a chance to do that and party for a greater cause.”

“Rave for the Cure” will have an emphasis on electronic dance music, with DJs, live performers and artists from all over Texas.

It will feature three stages with lasers, lights and professional grade sound, as well as vendor booths selling T-shirts, sunglasses, and glow and neon items. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society and the Keep A Breast Foundation.

The Forum, a student housing community in Huntsville, will host a “Rave2Save” pool party as well, with competitions, giveaways, live music, free food, and a shuttle to transport students without cars to and from campus.

Tickets are $5 early bird and $10 at the door.

For more information, visit the event’s webpage at www.rave2save.eventbrite.com.


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Area Hospitals To Serve As Healthcare Providers For Athletes

Director of Athletics Bobby Williams with Sally Nelson, CEO of Huntsville Memorial Hospital, and Steve Sanders, CEO of Memorial Hermann in The Woodlands. —Submitted photo.

Sam Houston State University announced on Aug. 16 a new partnership that will ensure its students stay healthy on and off the field.

Huntsville Memorial Hospital and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital together will serve as official healthcare providers for the SHSU athletic department.

As part of the agreement, the two hospitals, along with their staffs, will provide medical coverage at all SHSU athletic events. Additionally, in the event of an injury, athletes will have access to a team of physician specialists and allied healthcare professionals who understand the importance of rapid injury diagnostics and treatment and will work in the athletes' best interest to enable a safe return to the playing field.

"We're excited to expand our affiliation through this sports medicine partnership with Sam Houston State University," said Sally Nelson, CEO of Huntsville Memorial, and Steve Sanders, CEO of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands. "Working hand-in-hand, we are committed to providing state-of-the-art sports medicine services to students affiliated with the university's athletic program. We also hope to engage and inspire athletes and students alike to explore and pursue exciting and fulfilling careers in healthcare."

"The welfare of each of our student-athletes is a priority at Sam Houston State," said Bobby Williams, SHSU director of Athletics. "This new partnership will advance our program in the area of sports medicine coverage. To partner with a team of medical professionals respected throughout the Southwest and the nation will enhance our efforts in providing quality care for all of our student-athletes."


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Elite Program Receives Grant Funding

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center has received a grant that will enable to continue its male minority initiative SH Elite.

The IECA Foundation, in Fairfax, Va., awarded the center $5,000 that will be used to support the SH Elite, according to Bernice Strauss, SAM Center director of academic support programs.

SH Elite provides mentoring and enhances leadership for 30 Latino and African American students at SHSU.

“This program was piloted last year with outstanding academic results achieved by our participants,” Strauss said.

The IECA Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting educational programs.


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Today@Sam Seeks Calendar Info

The University Communications Office is now collecting information on campus events for its 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
Aug. 18, 2011
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu




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Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu.

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