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SHSU Update For Week Of March 6



Raven Nest To Offer Free Golf For Appreciation Day

The Raven Nest Golf Club will show its appreciation to the community with a day of free green fees on Saturday (March 12).

The Customer Appreciation Day will also offer reduced membership initiation fee, from $500 to $250, for everyone in the community.

“This is our way of showing our appreciation to everyone in the Huntsville community for their continued support,” said Rich Ballinger, director of the PGA golf management program and golf course operations.

Membership dues start at $89 per month for unlimited green fees for the member, spouse and qualifying dependants and run up to $129 per month for unlimited green fees, golf car fees and range access.

“To put this in context, this works out that a family could play unlimited golf with golf cars and range access for only $1,800 spread out over an entire year,” Ballinger said. “It is an incredible deal for such a great facility.”

Members are also offered complimentary handicaps and discounted golf instruction with a PGA professional.

Community members who want to play at Raven Nest on March 12 can begin reserving a starting time on Wednesday (March 9). Golf cars will be available for rental.

For more information, or to make a reservation, call the Raven Nest Golf Club at 936.438.8588 or visit www.RavenNestGolf.com.


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Biology Lecture To Focus On Chemistry Of Plant

Nilesh Sharma, an instructor in Western Kentucky University’s biology department, will discuss his work with “green chemistry” on Thursday (March 10).

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

Sharma’s lecture, "Plant-mediated Fabrication of Gold Nanoparticles: A Green Nanotechnology," will focus on his research on the Rattlebush (Sesbania drummondii), a shrub in the legume family that is native to Texas and other states in the southeast.

“Rapid advances in the field of nanotechnology need ‘green chemistry’ that includes a clean, nontoxic and environment-friendly method of nanoparticle synthesis,” Sharma said. “My research involves plant-mediated fabrication and characterization of gold nanoparticles.

“Growth of Sesbania drummondii in chloroaurate solution resulted in the accumulation of gold with the formation of stable gold nanoparticles in plant tissues,” he said.

Sharma received his doctorate in biology from Bihar University in India.

His research interests include uptake physiology and plant biotechnology, including phosphorus and heavy metal acquisition and remediation by plants, and cell differentiation and gene transfer in plants of economic importance.

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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National Survey Targeting Student Opinions

This month, SHSU students are being asked to assist the university with an important assessment activity currently taking place.

Selected students will receive an invitation via their SHSU e-mails to participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement, which compares SHSU and its students to other universities and their students.

“The results of the NSSE Survey are of great importance, as they help to guide program and service improvements at Sam,” said John Corkill, institutional assessment coordinator for the Institutional Research and Analysis department.

“If you recently received an e-mail invitation to participate in the NSSE Survey and have not yet responded, please do so today,” he said. “Participation from those who receive an invitation is critical to the success of this campus-wide initiative. Without your responses, complete, valid, and useful findings cannot be obtained.”

Additional invitations and reminders will be sent by e-mail throughout the month.

For more information on the NSSE Survey or how the results will be utilized, contact the Institutional Research and Analysis office at 936.294.4321.


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Committee Accepting Faculty ‘Excellence’ Nominations

The SHSU Faculty Achievement Awards Committee is now soliciting nominations for faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in research and in service for the two awards.

The annual Excellence in Research and Excellence in Service awards will recognize one faculty member in each category with a cash stipend of $5,000.

The Excellence in Research award “will honor a faculty member who has achieved excellence in the broad area of scholarly and artistic endeavor,” according Fidel Gonzalez, chair of the committee.

“The achievement might involve a single action, a series of accomplishments in the areas of scientific research, artistic creation, publication, performance, presentation, or other activities,” he said.

The Excellence in Service award “will honor a faculty member who has achieved excellence in the area of service to one’s profession and the university,” Gonzalez said.

“The achievement might be one action, a history of service to one’s profession, to a particular component of the university, or to the university as a whole,” he said.

Nominees must be full-time faculty members, including program coordinators, who have been employed at SHSU for at least five years. Previous recipients are not eligible, and only one nomination can be given per person.

Nominations, which are accepted from faculty or program coordinators, must be received by 5 p.m. on March 28. They may be sent to: Fidel Gonzalez, chair; Faculty Achievements Awards Committee; c/o Smith-Hutson Building; Box 2118 SHSU; or by e-mail to fxg001@shsu.edu.

Last year’s winners include James Bexley, from the College of Business Administration, recognized for service, and Rebecca Robles-Pina, from the College of Education, recognized for research.

A list of previous winners can be found online at http://library.shsu.edu/~org_sen/excellence/index.html.

For more information, contact Gonzalez at fxg001@shsu.edu.


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Mentor, Protégé Nominations Sought For New Award

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center will recognize an SHSU employee and student for their “commitment to a mentoring relationship” for the second annual SHSU Mentoring Award.

Students and faculty or staff members who want to honor their mentor or mentees have until April 1 to submit their nominations for a $1,000 prize.

“Students benefit significantly from the informal education that mentors provide on how to navigate an often unfamiliar territory, whether it be moving through the ranks of higher education, continuing their academic career into post-graduate study, or even transitioning successfully into their first professional job,” said Candi Harris, SAM Center staff associate. “I believe this award opportunity speaks to the value placed on mentoring relationships in higher education.”

Students who want to nominate a faculty or staff mentor should submit a one-page essay about why their mentor should be chosen and how their mentor has made a difference in their life. Recipients must have been a mentor to students for two long semesters at SHSU and be nominated by a student they mentored.

Mentors also submit a one-page essay on their student, including why he or she should win the award and what kind of change they have seen in their student as a result of their mentoring relationship. Recipients must have been mentored by a faculty or staff member for at least one long semester at SHSU and be nominated by their mentor.

Mentors and protégés do not both have to be nominated to win, nor do they have be a part of an official mentoring program. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. and can be turned via e-mail to mentoringaward@shsu.edu.

Winners will be announced at the end of April during a program, and a reception will be held to honor all participants.

The criteria are also listed online at http://www.shsu.edu/~sam_www/mentoring_award.html.

For more information, contact Harris at 936.294.4628 or ceh021@shsu.edu.


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Presentations To Highlight Women, Filmmakers

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences Women’s Caucus and the Office of Multicultural and International Student Services is recognizing “real/reel women” with three movies as part of Women’s History Month.

The three documentary films made by women that will be presented include “Mohawk Girls,” at 6 p.m. on Thursday (March 10); “A Woman’s Word,” at 4 p.m. on March 24; and “Say My Name,” at 6 p.m. on March 28. All three films will be presented in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Room C070.

Interspersed with home videos from filmmaker Tracy Deer's own adolescence, “Mohawk Girls,” is a look into what it means to grow up Native at the beginning of the 21st century.

The film intimately captures the lives of three exuberant and insightful Mohawk teenagers growing up on the Kahnawake Native Reserve as they face their future.

“A Woman’s Word” depicts the life and writings of three exceptional authors of the Arab word—Nawal Al Saadawi from Egypt, Hanan Al Shaykh from Lebanon, and Janata Bennuna from Morocco.

Conveying the intense drive of these women to write as a way to make sense of the world, to battle their sense of alienation or to express their political dissent, this documentary shatters the clichéd image of the oppressed and helpless Arab woman too often portrayed in the media, according to a description on the Women Make Movies website.

Silvia G. Ponzoda’s film weaves together interviews, family photos, voiceovers of each author reading from her work, and lingering, sensual footage of the cities each woman lives in.

“Say My Name,” a film by Nirit Peled, speaks candidly about class, race and gender in pursuing their passions as female MC’s in a hip hop and R’n’B world dominated by men and noted for misogyny.

The worldwide documentary takes viewers on a tour of urban culture and musical movement and features interviews and musical performances from a diverse cast of women that includes Remy Ma, Rah Digga, Jean Grae, Erykah Badu and Estelle, as well as newcomers Chocolate Thai, Invincible and Miz Korona.

For more information, contact Melinda Kovács, assistant professor of political science, at mxk004@shsu.edu or 936.294.4761.


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Multilingual Readings To Celebrate Women’s Month

The foreign languages department will celebrate women artists from all over the world during the Multilingual Literature-by-Women readings on Thursday (March 10).

The reading will begin at noon in Academic Building IV.

Among the featured readers are foreign languages department chair Debra Andrist, reading in Spanish; College of Education associate dean Beverly Irby, reading a Spanish piece by Rigoberta Menchú; Spanish pool faculty member Norma Mouton, reading a poem from Paz Pasamar's poetry in Spanish; assistant professor of sociology Lee Miller, reading in Italian; College of Humanities and Social Sciences administrative assistant Evelyn Hasouris-Turner, reading in Greek; and English department chair Helena Halmari and assistant professor Scott Kaukonen, reading an excerpt from their translation of Anja Snellman's Finnish novel "Pet Shop Girls."

Students will read as well.

“The literary accomplishments of more than half of humankind, women, have only recently—basically the second half of the 20th Century—been consistently included in the canon and/or made available as a rule,” Andrist said. "Therefore, it is essential to continue to highlight such accomplishments in order that our students, and the community at large, have the opportunity to explore these accomplishments and broaden their horizons.”

International Women's Day, originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year.

“It is a major day of global celebration of women,” Andrist said. “In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements.”

For more information, contact Andrist at 936.294.1441 or dda003@shsu.edu.


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Recyclympics To Turn Trash Into Fun

Students will have the opportunity to take recycling to a whole new level during the Recylcympics on Thursday (March 10).

Part of RecycleMania, the national 10-week competition sponsored by SHSU Dining Services, the inaugural Recyclympics will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

The event will recycle materials through games such as phone book shot put, recycling obstacle course, dumpster dive, and aluminum can crush. A trivia game, designed to raise awareness about how long it takes things to decompose, and other activities are also planned.

“It should be a fun filled event and prizes will be awarded to the individual and team participants who score the most points in a variety of activities,” said Ashley Baker, sustainability coordinator for Dining Services.

Recyclemania T-shirts will be given to the first 50 people who register by bringing a small bag of recyclable goods.

Prizes will be awarded for each event, varying from departmental T-shirts to water bottles, and other such items.

“The Recyclympics aim to increase recycling participation by students and staff and raise awareness about the significance of waste reduction programs on campuses,” Baker said. “Hopefully people will see that recyclables aren’t just trash and that it is important for the environment as well as the economy because it saves resources and money.”

The goal of RecycleMania is to show schools how to benchmark their waste reduction and promote efforts in recycling, according to Brandi Cannon, member of the student group Plastic Bottles and Junk, an SHSU recycling organization.

For more information, contact Baker at amb075@shsu.edu or Cannon at bcc013@shsu.edu.


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Orchestra To Debut ‘Exuberant’ Work

The SHSU Symphony Orchestra will be joined by guest organist Eric Gundersen during a concert on Thursday (March 10), at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.

The program will include Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 8,” and guest soloist Eric Gundersen will play French composer Francis Poulenc’s “Organ Concerto.”

The concert also will serve as the world premiere performance of "Rational Exuberance" by contemporary composer Wes Flinn.

“’Rational Exuberance’ may be the only orchestral work ever inspired by the words of the chairman of the Federal Reserve,” said David Cole, director of orchestral studies.

Flinn, the director of music theory and composition at Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga., wrote “Rational Experience” in 2004, revising it in 2009.

“After hearing former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan—who was a professional clarinetist and saxophonist before turning to economics—speak of the markets as being full of ‘irrational exuberance,’ I wondered what rational exuberance would sound like,” Flinn said. “This was my answer—celebratory, but with a touch of class and a dash of melancholy.”

A member of the School of Music Faculty at SHSU, Gundersen is a native of Fredrikstad, Norway, where he began his music studies.

He has also studied in the U.S. at Utah State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree, and at Yale University, where he earned a Master of Music degree.

He is currently studying organ and church music and pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance at Rice University.

He has played concerts throughout Europe and the United States including St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, the Mormon Tabernacle, Woolsey Hall, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.

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

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


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Dance Fundraiser To Feature Majors, Non-Majors

Sam Houston State University dancers will perform a variety of student-choreographed pieces as part of the semiannual Dances@8 fundraiser concert on Wednesday and Thursday (March 9-10).

Performances will begin at 8 p.m. each evening in the Performing Arts Center Dance Theatre.

The Dances@8 fundraising concert is supported by the Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honor Society.

“It is an opportunity for students to get their work out on the stage as well as perform,” said dance major Jessica Cantu. “As president of XTE, I really enjoy this show because it is run by all students, and the love and support that is given is amazing.”

The shows, which will feature different pieces each evening, will include undergraduate- and graduate-choreographed dances ranging from solos, duets, trios, and group performances, all in the different styles of modern, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and tap, Cantu said.

Shows are choreographed by both dance and non-dance majors.

Tickets are $8, and all proceeds benefit Chi Tau Epsilon.

For more information, call the dance program at 936.294.1875.


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Group Lends Hand At Special Olympics

SCEC membersSam Houston Council for Exceptional Children supports the community through volunteering in various events that help strengthen the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, according to Cynthia Simpson, SHCEC co-adviser and associate professor of special education.

The SHCEC student officers recently volunteered at the Special Olympics Texas Area 6 Basketball Competition held at Livingston Junior High School.

Simpson said this was the last basketball game of the season and a wonderful opportunity to offer support to Special Olympic Texas athletes.

“Special Olympics relies heavily on volunteers to assist with events and SHCEC has dedicated themselves to supporting Special Olympics Texas,” she said.

The event also featured the American Legion Riders, who had several motorcycles on display for athletes to observe in between games.

SCEC is a student organization dedicated to meeting the needs of parents, students, and educators of children with disabilities.

The chapter has nearly 100 active members and holds monthly meetings in the Teacher Education Center designed around current topics in the field of special education.

For more information, contact Simpson at lls_cxs@shsu.edu or 936.294.1238.


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Miller Discusses Malingering With Medical Professionals

Criminal justice professor Holly A. Miller recently presented to medical professionals and behavioral scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and two other medical facilities on the forensic and ethical aspects of malingering (faking a disorder) assessment.

Miller, who is also the College of Criminal Justice’s assistant dean for undergraduate studies, developed an assessment test for malingering used in forensic hospitals and courts throughout the country.

Her audience included physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, interns, and medical residents from Baylor University, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, and Menninger Clinic.

“The detection of malingered mental disorders is sometimes difficult,” Miller said.

“Using a tool to aid in diagnosis can benefit a physician’s or evaluator’s practice,” she said. “People attempt to malinger mental illness for a variety of reasons; to get out of the cold and be admitted to the ER; to be found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity for criminal charges; or to collect disability monies. An assessment tool allows professionals to make more objective and accurate decisions.”

The assessment test designed by Miller, the Miller Forensic Assessment Test, is a five-to-10 minute structured interview to screen for malingering that uses validated detection methods to determine if an individual is faking mental illness.

Miller has made many presentations on the assessment tool to correctional facilities and psychiatric forensic hospitals, but this is her first presentation on the measure before the general medical community.

In addition to providing a lecture to more than 100 professionals at Baylor University, with a simultaneous broadcast to the other facilities, Miller provided an informal session for psychiatric residents at Baylor.


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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
March 4, 2011
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu




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Assistant Director: Julia May
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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