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SHSU Update For Week Of July 3

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Planetarium Program To Celebrate Neptune

The physics department will explore the universe and celebrate Neptune’s discovery with its planetarium program series throughout July.

A double feature celebrating the 165th anniversary of the discovery of Neptune will kick off the month’s showings on July 11.

“It has taken Neptune this long to go around the sun just one time (since its discovery),” said Michael Prokosch, physics department staff laboratory assistant.

The double feature will include showings of “Two Small Pieces of Glass” at 3 p.m. and “IBEX: Interstellar Boundary Explorer” at 7 p.m. in the Planetarium, located in Farrington Building Room 102.

“Two Small Pieces of Glass” takes audiences on a journey through the history of modern astronomy from the perspective of two youths who learn about the different types of telescopes and who invented them including Galileo, Isaac Newton, and Edwin Hubble.

“IBEX: Interstellar Boundary Explorer” features scientists who are investigating the boundary between our Solar System and the rest of our galaxy.

Prokosch will also point out the constellations that are visible in the summer sky, including Hercules, Draco and “Summer Triangle” constellations of Lyra, Cygnus and Aquila.

On July 14, the department will also show the featured program “The Aurora: The Mysterious Light,” at 3 p.m., which details how scientists think the beautiful Northern Lights form, according to Prokosch.

Admission is free.

Repeat showings of “IBEX” and “The Aurora” will be presented on July 21 and July 28, respectively. Both will be at 3 p.m. in the Planetarium.

For more information on current show times for the planetarium or the observatory, call 936.294.3664 or e-mail Prokosch at mwp007@shsu.edu or visit the Planetarium WikiPage at http://shsu-planetarium.wikispaces.com/.


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Rich Ballinger Named PGA Master Professional

Rich Ballinger, director of the SHSU PGA Golf Management Program, has been named a PGA Master Professional after graduating from the PGA Master Professional Program on June 9.

Ballinger is one of only 13 PGA Master Professionals in the state of Texas and the only PGA Master Professional in the career path of general management in the state.

“I am very proud of being named a PGA Master Professional,” he said. “I worked extremely hard on this project, and I have many people to thank who helped along the way, including a very supportive SHSU administration. I feel very fortunate to work at Sam Houston State University where I work with and for some of the finest people.”

Ballinger has been at SHSU since 2005, where he started the SHSU PGA Golf Management program.

He has earned the Southern Texas Section PGA of America Horton Smith Award for outstanding educational contributions and has served on PGA of America national committees, including the apprentice task force and PGA/PGM task force. Ballinger is one of only three directors in the U.S. currently serving on the PGA Golf Management University Accreditation and Evaluation Team.

Since the program's inception, 360 PGA professionals have graduated from the PGA Master Professional Program, the highest educational level in The PGA of America.

It was established in 1969 to recognize PGA members who make a significant effort to improve themselves as golf professionals and maintain the highest degree of excellence for themselves and their operations, according to Ballinger.

The PGA Master Professional Program originates from the PGA Certified Professional Program.

After a PGA member passes the certified professional program's proficiency assessment test, he or she is eligible to work toward their "Masters Degree" in education by preparing a special project in their selected career path that meets the approval of examiners. The master professional applicant then presents that project to a panel of examiners.


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Simpson To Head Group’s Legislative Committee

Cynthia Simpson, associate professor in the College of Education, has been elected vice president of legislative affairs for the Texas Association for College Teachers’ board of directors.

In the position, Simpson will actively promote the organization's legislative agenda with members of the Texas Legislature and work collaboratively with TACT's lobbyist in advocating for the rights of faculty members and others who benefit from the services provided by universities.

“The TACT vice president of legislative affairs is a key role in that the primary method of performing the organization’s mission is to influence public bodies such as the Texas Legislature and state agencies—primarily the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board,” Simpson said. "The office is a two-year position to prepare for 18 months prior to the legislative session.”

The VP of legislative affairs serves as chair of TACT’s legislative committee, overseeing committee members in the performance of duties such as disseminating information to association members at their home institutions and maintaining communication with legislators in their respective districts.

Part of her duties will also include recommending to the board of directors positions for the association to adopt on such issues as academic freedom, student affordability (scholarships), faculty compensation, tenure, shared governance, and curriculum quality, she said.

Simpson was installed as an officer, along with others who were elected by the membership, on June 4 in Austin.

The Texas Association for College Teachers is an organization dedicated to providing university faculty with the means to inform the Texas public, governor, legislature, other state and private agencies of the views and concerns of higher education, as well as keep TACT's members and constituents informed of the various issues that impact higher education.

“I have been a member of TACT for a number of years and believe that it provides a voice for faculty among the mix of interests leading to better public policy,” Simpson said. “It advocates for the best affordable education at the statewide level in a manner similar to the mission of faculty senates at the institutional level.

“Those of us committed to our profession as strongly as we are to the enhancement of our discipline have found TACT to provide the conduit for our participation for nearly 65 years,” she said. “It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of two generations of faculty leaders to contribute to a better system of higher education in our state.”


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Story Published By Texas Review Wins Contest

A short story by an author whose first collection was published by SHSU’s Texas Review Press has won the Texas Observer’s “Short Story Prize.”

Brian Allen Carr’s “The First Henley,” the winning entry, was released as part of the collection Short Bus in the spring by the Texas Review Press.

It was chosen from among entries from around the world by guest judge Larry McMurtry in part because it “sustains a good sense of atmosphere,” said Texas Observer writer David Duhr.

“It’s the tale of an Old West gunfighter stripped of his capacity for holding a gun, a story which mixes fact and fiction and culminates at the first-ever Lone Star Fair in 1852 Corpus Christi,” Duhr said in the article announcing the winner. “According to the author, it’s a ‘cowboy myth’ tale ‘intended to poke fun at the cowboy myth.’”

The article also announced four other finalists for the top prize, as well as 22 honorable mentions, which accounted for “not even 10 percent of what was an excellent crop of fiction,” said Duhr, who helped whittle “the number of finalists to five.”

The short story is available online at http://www.texasobserver.org/culture/announcing-the-texas-observer-short-story-prize-winner.


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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
July 1, 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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