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SHSU Update For Week Of Feb. 20



Malian Professor To Give Black History Month Address

Macki Samake, associate professor of linguistics and director of international relations and cooperation at the University of Bamako in Mali, will discuss the 50th anniversary of Malian independence on Thursday (Feb. 24).

The keynote address for the SHSU history department’s Black History Month celebration, co-sponsored by the Program Council, will begin at 7 p.m. in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room C090.

The presentation will address the history of Mali, Mali in the African Liberation Movement, the impact of independence on subsequent events and Mali’s place in the 21st century. Last September marked the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Mali’s independence from France.

“Professor Samake’s visit is particularly significant when one considers Mali’s place in world history,” said Bernadette Pruitt, associate professor of history. “A landlocked nation in West Africa, Mail, for over 1,000 years, has been the location of one of the world’s most impressive histories.

“Mali is one of the world’s poorest nations, despite its abundance of salt, uranium and gold,” she said.

Today, Mali is a Muslim democracy with nearly 15 million people, and at least four million Malians live in other countries, including the United States.

“Malian Americans, along with other African nationals and their direct descendents, represent 50 percent of all African-descent students—over two million—enrolled in American colleges and universities today,” Pruitt said.

Samake, an expert on West African linguistics as well French and English, earned his doctorate in linguistics in 2004 from the University of Saint-Louis in Senegal.

The University of Bamako, where he currently teaches, is the largest public university in Mali.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Sign-in sheets will also be available for students receiving class credit for the lecture.

For more information, contact Pruitt at his_bxp@shsu.edu or 936.294.1491, or Andrew Orr at axo009@shsu.edu or 936.294.1478.


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Keynote Speaker To Stand Up For Economics

Yoram Bauman, who refers to himself as the first and only “stand-up economist,” will educate and entertain students on financial issues on Wednesday (Feb. 23).

The keynote lecture for the Student Money Management Center’s Financial Literacy Week, “Stand-up Economics” will begin at 11 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

Bauman is a professor of economics at the University of Washington and performs at comedy clubs, colleges, and corporate events around the world.

He is the co-author of “The Cartoon Introduction to Economics” and the organizer of the humor session at the American Economic Association annual meeting. He has appeared in TIME Magazine, on PBS and NPR, and on YouTube, where his videos have over 700,000 hits.

Bauman lives in Seattle and appears regularly at the Comedy Underground as part of a political comedy benefit show called Non-Profit Comedy that has raised more than $75,000 for local non-profits.

He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Reed College and a doctorate in economics from the University of Washington.

He also teaches in the UW environmental studies program, as well as at Bainbridge Graduate Institute and at Lakeside High School.

His interests also include researching the economics of climate change and campaigning for environmental tax reform.

For more information, call the Student Money Management Center at 936.294.2600.


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Scientist To Discuss Work With Algorithms

Samuel Payne, a senior scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., will discuss his National Science Foundation funded-research on Thursday (Feb. 24).

"Algorithms to solve proteomics' most difficult problems and reveal nature's secrets," the Biological Science Department Seminar Series lecture, will begin at 4 p.m. in Lee Drain Building Room 214.

Payne is a senior scientist in Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s bioinformatics division and is principal investigator for an NSF microbial genome-sequencing grant, “Automated Protoegenomics Annotation for Prokaryotic Genomes.”

Payne’s research interests are computational proteomics and algorithm design.

More than 200 genomes including the human genome have been completely sequenced and fully annotated. Although biological functions can be predicted from genomic sequences, definitive functions of genes can be ultimately learned from protein analysis, according to Madhu Choudhary, assistant professor of biological sciences.

Payne will discuss how to discover novel genes using proteomics data and to continually make correction and improvement on current genome annotation.

“His research works provided a robust pipeline for proteogenomic annotation scheme that can be applied to all publicly available prokaryotic proteomics data, and then be used to all genome databases for further refinement of genome annotations,” Choudhary said. “He also helped lead the Arabidopsis proteogenomics project, where 700 new genes were identified.”

Payne received his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science at Brigham Young University and his doctorate in bioinformatics from the University of California, San Diego.

The lecture is open to the public.

For more information, contact Choudhary at 936.294.4850.


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‘Real Talk’ To Provide Resume, Interview Help

Just in time for the Criminal Justice Career Fair, on March 2, students can get pointers on writing resumes and preparing for interviews for jobs in the field during the Real Talk with CJ on Tuesday (Feb. 22).

Led by College of Criminal Justice internship coordinator Jim Dozier and Career Services employment specialist Greg Monteilh, the resume and interview workshop will begin at 2 p.m. in the CJava Café.

Dozier will present tips to get jobs in the criminal justice field, while Monteilh will provide information on writing an effective resume and preparing for interviews.

"There are so many opportunities available in the criminal justice field and many of the jobs don’t involve carrying a pistol," Dozier said. "Many of our students work in victim services or support services. For every DEA agent in the field, there are multiple support positions."

Dozier will show students how to search for a job, and the websites where positions are posted. He also will discuss background checks and what to do if students have problems in their past. Finally, he plans to talk about physical fitness tests and some of the more subtle features of preparing for an interview.

"They have to realize that they will not likely be interviewed by someone their own age," said Dozier. "Little things make a difference. Shine your shoes, and don’t wear multi-colored nail polish."

Dozier, an associate professor at the College of Criminal Justice, had a 38-year career in local, state and federal law enforcement. Dozier began as a Houston Police Officer and a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

He previously served as the Montgomery County Attorney and as assistant district attorney for the 9th Judicial District and executive director of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.

Monteilh, an SHSU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, has been an employment specialist at the university since 2009. He provides support to recruiters, students and alumni throughout the recruiting process for internships and full-time opportunities.

His prior experience includes five years of job development and placement throughout the State of Texas as well as five years of employment mediation experience and 11 years of human resources experience in employee relations and services with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

For more information, contact Beth Kuhles, College of Criminal Justice public relations officer, at 936.294.4425.


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Festival To Present Latin-Inspired Music

Well-known and respected Latin American artists will visit campus beginning Monday (Feb. 21) for three concerts held in conjunction with Festival Inspiración, SHSU’s first Latin American Arts Festival.

That evening Luis Marín and musicians from the Puerto Rico National Conservatory of Music will play a Latin jazz concert to kick off musical festivities at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.

On Wednesday (Feb. 23), sculpture, modern dance and percussion will converge for “Creación del Alma” (“Creation of the Soul”), an improvisation concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC Dance Theater.

Friday’s events will include the Invitational Latin Jazz Festival, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, during which high school and university jazz bands from the Houston, Dallas and San Antonio areas will participate in workshops with some of the festival’s prominent musicians. They will compete for the opportunity to play in the final concert on Saturday with Danilo Pérez, a Panamanian music artist, now based in New York.

The two Saturday (Feb. 26) performances that will play out the festival include a Caribbean-style jam session by the SHSU Steel and Jazz bands, from 2-4 p.m. in the PAC foyer, and will culminate with the Final Latin Jazz Concert, featuring Pérez, SHSU professor Aric Schneller, the SHSU Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra, and the winning band from the jazz festival, at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC Concert Hall.

All of the Festival Inspiración events are free and open to the public, except the Saturday evening concert, for which admission is $15 for adults and $12 for SHSU students and senior citizens. However, tickets will be required for all of the events and will be dispensed on a first-come, first served basis.

Tickets can be obtained through the PAC box office at 936.294.2339 or tickets@shsu.edu.


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Theatre To Show ‘Orpheus Descending’

The SHSU theatre and dance department will present Tennessee Williams’s “Orpheus Descending” Wednesday through Saturday (Feb. 23-26).

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

Directed by SHSU theatre faculty member Maureen McIntyre, “Orpheus Descending” is a modernized tale of the Grecian Orpheus myth, retold to embody the power of passion, art, and the capacity to rejuvenate life while creating fresh meaning.

"On the surface it was and still is the tale of a wild-spirited boy who wanders into a conventional community of the South and creates the commotion of a fox in a chicken coop,” Williams said about his play. “But beneath that now-familiar surface it is a play about unanswered questions that haunt the hearts of people and the difference between continuing to ask them...and the acceptance of prescribed answers that are not answers at all."

The cast includes SHSU theatre majors Kyle Atkinson, Katie Butler, Ashley Clos, Dolly Hamma, Cameron Davis, Wade Dixon, Whitney Gafford, Sean Gooden, Cara Graves, Jason Hayes, Austin Heps, Daniel Nepveux, Zach Penland, Kyle Scholl, Leslie Sinclare, Dakota Thorton, Daniel Toole and Kimberly Welch, as well as musical theatre major Nina Garcia.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens and SHSU students.

For more information, call the University Theatre Center Box Office at 936.294.1339.


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Concerts To Highlight Three SHSU Bands

Three SHSU student groups will perform their first concerts of the semester in two performances beginning Tuesday (Feb. 22).

The Concert and Symphonic Band Performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.

The Concert Band will perform works by Pierre Leemans, Michael Colgrass and Frank Ticheli, while the Symphonic Band will perform works by Aaron Copland, Bob Margolis and Charles Ives, according to Christopher Adler, conducting graduate associate.

The Concert Band is conducted by Adler, and the symphonic band is conducted by Brian Gibbs.

On Thursday (Feb. 24), the Wind Ensemble will present music composed by French and American composers, such as Paul Dukas, Olivier Messiaen, Donald Grantham, Claude Debussy and Darius Milhaud.

That concert, under the direction of Matthew McInturf, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for SHSU students and senior citizens.

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


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ADAI To Present ‘Alcohol 101’

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative will present a risk-management session for student groups, addressing topics that are in compliance with the alcohol education requirements for national student organizations on Monday (Feb. 21).

"Alcohol 101," part of the Six Weeks of Alcohol Awareness Training program, will begin at 7 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 329.

The informal session will discuss risk management, alcohol serving size, blood alcohol concentration, alcohol serving size, first aid for alcohol poisoning and sexual assault associated with alcohol use. Handouts and demonstrations will be included in the presentation, according to Rosanne Keathley, ADAI coordinator.

“These are essential for all students and student origination requirements,” Keathley said. “Even if students do not consume alcohol, they can share this information with their friends and family members who do consume alcohol.”

Statistically, alcohol traditionally has a major impact on college campuses nationwide, according to Keathley.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that for college students between the ages of 18 and 24, 1,825 die annually from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes; 599,000 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol; 696,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking; 97,000 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape; and more than 100,000 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex.

In addition, about 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.

For more information, contact Keathley at 936.294.1171.


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National Day To Educate SHSU On TRIO Programs

The SHSU TRIO Programs, Project CONNECT and Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program will recognize National TRIO Day on campus by educating the Bearkat Community on their programs on Thursday (Feb. 24).

Tables will be set up in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., where students can stop by to receive information and giveaways from staff and program participants.

An open house, with free refreshments, will also be held during that time in LSC Room 320, where attendees can view displays of student success stories and research projects.

The purpose of the TRIO Day activities is to raise campus awareness of these programs, which help disadvantaged students to succeed in higher education, according to Kelly Stuckey, director for Project CONNECT’s student support services.

“We want National TRIO Day this year to be a chance for our students to tell their stories and acknowledge the importance of supporting disadvantaged students,” she said.

Project CONNECT/Student Support Services supports undergraduates that are in need of support in transitioning to college life.

“We are like their case manager that connects them to the services and resources needed but holds them accountable to apply them as well,” said Katie Fletcher, SSS Coordinator.

The McNair program encourages graduate studies by providing opportunities for undergraduates to define their goals, engage in research, and develop the skills and faculty mentor relationships that are critical to success at the doctoral level.

For more information, contact Stuckey at 936.294.1678 or elc_kgs@shsu.edu or the Project CONNECT office at 936.294.1694 or connect@shsu.edu.


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Financial Aid To Help Students Reach College Goals

Sam Houston State University’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Office will help students with their college goals by aiding those filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on Sunday (Feb. 27), from 2-4 p.m. at Huntsville High School.

“College Goal Sunday” is a statewide event during which financial aid professionals at 40 college and high school campuses across the state will be available to help students and their families complete the FAFSA form.

The free, one-day event is designed to help students and their families with any questions or concerns about completing the application, according to Kim Nettles, site coordinator for College Goal Sunday and financial aid counselor.

The FAFSA assists students in gaining access to federal and state-funded grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans to help cover the cost of college. Last year, Texas students were awarded more than $4 billion in state and federal financial aid, she said.

Students and parents should bring their latest tax information and a paystub from their 2010 employer(s).

FAFSA allows families to estimate financial information for those who do not have the information, which can be corrected after taxes have been completed, Nettles said. Taxes do not need to be filed with the IRS before the event.

Though “College Goal Sunday” is geared toward high school students, who are filling out the application for the first time, college students may attend as well.

“Last year we had college students from other universities attend with parents and siblings that were high school seniors,” Nettles said. “We will be there to help anyone that needs help filling out the FAFSA for next year.”

To register for the program and to find more information about the event, visit www.collegegoalsundaytexas.org or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CGSTexas.

Participants who pre-register for the program will be eligible to win an additional $250 drawing towards their college textbooks for the fall 2011.

For more information about "College Goal Sunday," call 979.458.5307 or contact Nettles or Melonee Fife, with SHSU’s Financial Aid Office, at 936.294.1774.


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Meeting For Puebla Program Rescheduled To Feb. 23

An informational meeting for students interested in participating in this summer’s Puebla Field School program will be on Wednesday (Feb. 23), at 3:30 p.m. in Academic Building IV Room 335.

The meeting, initially scheduled for Feb. 9, was canceled because of the weather.

A number of Spanish, history and business classes for the first summer session will be held in Puebla, Mexico, from June 1-28, according to Frieda Koeninger, Puebla Field School director.

This summer’s classes are scheduled to include finance 430/575: "International Finance and Trade;" general business administration 430/575: "International Business Management;" Spanish 263: "Intermediate Spanish," 369: "Conversational Spanish II" and 376: "The Mexican Short Story;" and history 399W: "Colonial Mexico" and 399W: "Modern Mexico."

“Classes are taught by SHSU professors and this makes the program academically rigorous. It also creates a support system between the students and their teachers,” Koeninger said.

“It is not like other programs, and because of that, I think students have a happier experience. They are really learning the language, making valuable contacts and real friendships with international students as well as their own classmates,” she said. “The goal is to teach them the language but also how to be independently successful.”

While in Mexico, students will have the option of staying at a hotel or with a family. The family-stay arrangements are made through the Universidad Iberoamericana, where classes are held. Participants will also take a variety of field trips during their time in Mexico.

"The family-stay is a huge success because students become very close to the families,” Koeninger said. “They really spoil our students."

The cost of the program is $1,820 for the home stay, which includes all meals, or $2,320 for the hotel stay, which doesn’t include meals. Both prices include the airline ticket and a number of field trips. Students will also be responsible for their own passports, which are now required for travel in Mexico.

The Puebla Field School program began in the 1940s and, after a 20-year hiatus, was reinstated in 1996.

For more information, or to sign up, contact Koeninger at 936.294.1443 or fol_fck@shsu.edu.


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Exhibit To Feature New Orleans, Maryland Professors

The works of two art professors will be on display in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery beginning Thursday (Feb. 24).

An opening reception and artist talk for the Amanda Burnham and Dan Rule Exhibit, will be held that day. Burnham will discuss her work from 5-6 p.m. in the Art Auditorium, in Art Building E Room 108, followed by a reception, from 6-7 p.m. in the gallery.

Rule will present a closing discussion from 5-6 p.m. on March 24, followed by a reception from 6-7 p.m. in the gallery.

Burnham, whose areas of specialization include drawing and painting, lives and works in Baltimore, Md., where she is an assistant professor at Towson University.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in visual and environmental studies from Harvard University and her master’s degree in painting and printmaking from Yale University.

She will be creating an installation of new work for her part of the exhibit in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery, according to Debbie Harper, audio/visual librarian for the art department.

Rule, a professor of imaging at the University of New Orleans, works in drawings, prints, animation and video, which, he said, “share some common meanderings on our perception of objects.”

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and his master’s degree from Northern Illinois University.

Rule currently teaches advanced digital media classes and printmaking.

The Amanda Burnham and Dan Rule Exhibition will be on display through March 24.

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery is located in Art Building F.

For more information, contact Debbie Harper, audio/visual librarian for the art department, at 936.294.1317.


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Groups Sought For ‘Fun With Friends’

Campus organizations are being sought to take part in the College of Education’s first Fun with Friends fair on March 27.

The educational fair, which will benefit CASA of Walker County, will be held from 1-5 p.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

“This is an event for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) which serves children in the foster care system,” said Miki Henderson, assistant professor of early childhood education. “Also, this event will be a time for children and families in our community to be together engaging in fun activities together.”

Because anywhere from 500 to 750 children are anticipated to participate, the college is looking for student groups to help with the fair.

“We are looking to have campus groups sponsor and operate game booths or craft activities during the fair,” Henderson said. “Groups will not pay to have a booth but they will have to be prepared for a whole lot of children.

“We are looking for booths that are fun and engaging for various levels of children preschool through 12 years old,” she said. “We have a list available of game and arts and craft activities to help groups decided what they would like to do for this event.”

The college will sponsor a "Best Booth" competition for campus participants.

“The children will vote on their favorite booth and the winners take home a trophy for their group,” Henderson said.

Groups that would like to participate should contact Henderson at 936.294.4638. The sign-up deadline for booths is March 1.


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English Prof To Publish Fourth Essay Collection

Ruffin's book coverPaul Ruffin’s fourth collection of essays, “Travels with George, in Search of Ben Hur and Other Meanderings,” has been called “an accomplished Southern storyteller's colorful reflections on literature, booze, firearms, violence, and sex.”

The 184-page collection, published by The University of South Carolina Press, will be available on April 15.

“Travels with George, in Search of Ben Hur and Other Meanderings,” “highlights his idiosyncratic wit and practiced storytelling skills in memorable autobiographic pieces ranging from the comic to the confessional,” according to a review from the USC Press.

The first section, "Things Literary, More or Less," includes the title essay, in which Ruffin takes the reader on a rollicking tour with iconic Southern writer George Garrett, which ends with the two men locating the ghostly remains of an obscure Texas hamlet called Ben Hur and talking with an eccentric representative of the town's handful of inhabitants.

In other essays Ruffin workshops a cowboy poem with a couple of deputy sheriffs, reveals aspects of Edgar Allan Poe's life never before published, reviews some unusual books, and shares the story of a boy who speaks only in hymns.

“Through Ruffin's sly vision of himself and his surroundings and his ability to focus attention on life's curious, defining moments, these essays reflect some of the best aspects of contemporary literary nonfiction,” the review said. “Every tale is vibrantly alive with the sincere voice, crisp details, bold images, and distinctive dialogue that readers have come to relish in Ruffin's myriad writings.”

"Ruffin has long been the South's reliable literary postman, for years delivering bundles of first-class poetry, fiction, and nonfiction," said Sam Pickering, University of Connecticut, Storrs. "'Travels with George' is priority reading, a joyous, awakening book that encourages readers to track the meanderings of their lives. Like those of mail recipients, addresses change as people travel decades, and the bulk of living smothers memory until a wondrous book like Travels with George slips onto the bedside table and makes a person appreciate the gift of life."

Ruffin is the 2009 Texas State Poet Laureate, Texas State University System Regents’ Professor and SHSU Distinguished Professor of English. He is also the founding director of the Texas Review Press and founding editor of the Texas Review.

He is the author of two novels, three collections of stories, three earlier books of essays, and seven collections of poetry.

The collection is available for pre-order for $29.95 through The University of South Carolina Press, at http://www.sc.edu/uscpress/books/2011/3986.html. It is also available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.


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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: Bruce Erickson, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Feb. 18, 2011
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu




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Assistant Director: Julia May
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Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu.

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