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SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 23

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Vaccinations To Be Available To Students This Week

The SHSU Student Health Center will administer the influenza vaccine at no charge to students on Tuesday (Oct. 25) and Wednesday (Oct. 26), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Atrium.

In order to receive a flu shot, students must present their student identification cards and are asked to come prepared by wearing sleeves that can be easily adjusted to expose the shoulder in order to speed the administration of the vaccine.

There will be an area to disrobe with privacy screens, but an easily accessible injection site will make the process faster and more comfortable, according to health center director Sarah Hanel.

“Because the influenza virus is highly contagious, we encourage all SHSU students to take advantage of the free flu vaccination campaign,” she said. “By obtaining a vaccine, this can help aid employees and students from lost work or class days, or other potential serious complications.”

The vaccine will not be administered to those who are pregnant or nursing. Students 17 years of age or younger must present a parental consent form prior to receiving the vaccine.

For more information about the influenza vaccine or the administration process, visit http://www.shsu.edu/~uhc_www/ or call 936.294.1805.


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‘Real Talk’ To Explore Careers In Diplomatic Security

Special Agent Paul Davis (right) poses with Israeli Defense Minister Ehub Barak (center) and an Israeli Shin Bet officer.

When Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently met Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in New York to discuss issues surrounding a Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, Paul Davies was at the center of it all.

Davies, a supervisory special agent with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, was in charge of providing security for the defense minister, which included 35 special agents as well as coordination with the New York City Police Department.

Davies, whose job ranges from guarding the Dalai Lama to breaking down doors to arrest suspects for visa or passport fraud, will discuss this work as the featured speaker at “Real Talk with CJ” on Tuesday (Oct. 25), from 2-3 p.m. in CJava Café.

“The great thing about this job is it is interesting because it changes every day,” he said. “You get to spend a lot of time overseas and, because it is a smaller agency, you get more responsibility and experience early on in your career.”

In his job, Davies leads a team of 11 special agents in Houston, which has the third largest number of consulates (80) in the U.S. The office, covering Texas and Oklahoma, is also responsible for maintaining the integrity of U.S. passports and visas; investigating human trafficking networks; providing support for joint terrorism task forces in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and El Paso; and conducting personnel security investigations of prospective candidates for employment with the Department of State and other foreign affairs agencies.

During his career, Davies has protected many U.S. and foreign dignitaries, including former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

His Houston agents frequently travel overseas on foreign missions and are also responsible for investigating 250 cases of passport or visa fraud for the Department of State or those referred by other federal or local agencies. Those cases include human trafficking and smuggling, identity fraud, or sham companies set up to bring in foreign workers.

Davies began his career with diplomatic security in 1998 after graduating from The Citadel and serving eight years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

After applying to the major federal agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI and DEA, Davies opted for diplomatic security because it gave him the opportunity to spend time overseas. He has worked in Pakistan, Indonesia, Iraq, and during an early assignment, was in East Timor, near Australia, where he had to evacuate the U.S. Embassy during a coupe d’etat.

“You have to be willing to travel,” Davies said. “Ninety percent of the agents will spend one-third to one-half of their time abroad.”


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Journeys Seminar To Focus On ‘Less Ordinary’ Life

Steve Thompson, Recreational Sports department associate director of programs, will share some of the “seemingly insignificant decisions” people have to make in their lives on Monday (Oct. 24), during the Honors 3332 Journeys Seminar lecture.

Thompson’s discussion of “A Life Less Ordinary” will begin at 4 p.m. in Smith-Hutson Building Room 186.

“Life is a very non-linear process, and sometimes very small, seemingly insignificant decisions we make have very profound impacts on the directions our lives take,” Thompson said. “My talk will focus on the importance of travel, interaction with other people and cultures, stepping out of our comfort zones, and the need for continuous self-reflection to help us lead a well-lived life.”

Thompson has been with the SHSU Department of Recreational Sports since January 2006.
A Pittsburgh native, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and is currently working on his doctorate at SHSU.

Thompson has worked in the recreation field, primarily adventure recreation, for 20 years.

He is a wilderness first responder, former president of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and has instructed and guided a wide variety of outdoor pursuits, including climbing, skiing, white water boating, mountain biking, low-impact camping, mountaineering, sailing, canyoneering, and extended backpacking.

His lecture, sponsored by the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College, is part of a new class designed to show students what characteristics lead to success.

It is open to the public.

For more information, contact instructor Patrick Lewis at 936.294.3397.


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Biology Seminar To Feature SHSU Prof

Chris Randle, assistant professor of biological sciences at SHSU, will discuss his research on the evolution of parasitic plants on Thursday (Oct. 27).

"Taking to the Trees: The Natural History of an Aerial Parasite," the Biological Sciences Department Seminar Series presentation, will begin at 4 p.m. in Lee Drain Building Room 214.

“I will be discussing the natural history of the leafy mistletoe, a parasite of trees,” Randle said. “My lab has been exploring the ways that mistletoe seedlings detect hosts, grow toward them, and invade host tissue to obtain water and minerals in an attempt to explain the distribution of mistletoes on hosts across the range of the species.”

He said the results of the work have not yet been published but are “exciting.”

Randle earned is bachelor’s degree from Hiram College and his doctorate from The Ohio State University.

His research interests include plant evolution and systematics, parasitic plant evolution, molecular evolution and theoretical phylogenetics.

He has been teaching at SHSU since 2006.

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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Seminar To Prepare Students For Law, Grad School

The Political Science Junior Fellows will host a seminar for students interested in law or graduate school on Monday (Oct. 31), from 3-4:30 p.m.

The seminar will feature representatives from South Texas College of Law, the Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service, Kaplan Test Prep, and a local attorney.

It will focus on strategies for gaining entrance to graduate school, tips for success in graduate school, and career opportunities in law and public service.

“This is a great opportunity for students to learn more about post-graduate opportunities, whether the student is interested in law school or graduate school,” said Christian Bionat, junior fellows co-president. “The panelists are very helpful, and they often provide information that isn’t available on schools’ official websites.”

The program will permit panelists to provide a 10-15 minute discussion of such topics as criteria to consider when choosing a school for post-graduate education, a timeline for graduate school applications, writing personal statements, asking for letters of recommendation, and tips for success in graduate school.

A question-and-answer session will follow the panelist discussions, and panelists will be available for one-on-one discussions during a post-program reception.

The event is free and open to students and others interested in applying to graduate or law school. Registration is required, as space is limited.

For more information, or to register, contact junior fellows adviser Mike Yawn at 936.294.1456 or mike.yawn@shsu.edu.


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Alumni, Friends To Connect At Margarita’s SamWorks

Huntsville-area SHSU alumni and friends will have the opportunity to build the Bearkat network on Tuesday (Oct. 25) during SamWorks.

The meet-and-greet event, hosted by the SHSU Alumni Association and the Huntsville-Walker County Chamber of Commerce, will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Margarita's Mexican Restaurant.

“SamWorks is a fun Bearkat casual event to network with fellow Bearkats, SHSU administrators and business leaders,” said Charlie Vienne, SHSU Alumni Relations director.

Appetizers will be served, and door prizes will be given away.

SamWorks is $10, which includes a complimentary first beverage, and is open to both Alumni Association members and non-members.

Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP by Monday (Oct. 24) at 800.283.7478 or http://alumni.shsu.edu.

For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 936.294.1841.


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Meeting For ‘Bucket List’ Class To Be Held Wednesday

The "Bucket List Astronomy Tour" class will hold an organizational meeting to discuss a summer study trip that will “blast” students from Arizona to Australia and back on Wednesday (Oct. 26).

The meeting will begin at noon in Farrington Building Room 107.

Consisting of four concurrently held core science courses, the BLAsT class will travel from May 14 to June 8.

During the organizational meeting, physics professor Renee James will discuss the classes that will be a part of the program, registration, itinerary, costs, scholarships, deadlines, and other planning essentials.

For more information, contact James at phy_crj@shsu.edu or Scott Miller, assistant professor of physics, at stm009@shsu.edu.


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Concert To Kick Off Halloween With ‘Mowgli’s Jungle’

A collection of dances choreographed by SHSU dance graduate student Mathew Harr and inspired by the Rudyard Kipling story “The Jungle Book” will be presented Thursday and Friday (Oct. 27-28).

Performances for the MFA Thesis Concert will begin at 8 p.m. each evening in the Performing Arts Center Dance Theater.

“Mowgli’s Jungle” will also integrate the methods used by the Disney creative team to enhance the performance-audience connection in live entertainment settings, according to Harr.

“With elaborate costumes, make-up and the talented dancers of the Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre and Dance, this short evening performance will be an entertaining and memorable experience, perfect to kick off the Halloween weekend,” Harr said. “A wild experience for the whole family is guaranteed.”

Admission to the 30-minute show is free.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call the PAC box office at 936.294.2339.


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Sorority To Showcase American Composers With Musicale

The Sigma Alpha Iota international music fraternity for women will present an evening of “diverse and interesting” pieces, ranging from jazz, contemporary, American traditional and folk music during their American Musicale on Tuesday (Oct. 25), at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

“The American Musicale is a music concert that we perform once a year to honor American composers,” said Allyson Naylor, president of SHSU’s Beta Theta chapter.

“Sigma Alpha Iota supports music education around the world and promote music in our organization, community and around the world,” she said. “With the American Musicale we promote the music written by Americans only and show people the amazing music written by American composers.”

The program will include songs that are both played on instruments and sung, such as Glad Robinson Youse’s “So Near So Dear,” Michael Kibbe’s “Serenade, Op. 131,” and a Walt Disney Melody. A piece recently composed by an SHSU student will also be played.

“We are playing a very wide variety of music so there will be something for everyone,” Naylor said. “We want everyone to appreciate, enjoy, and know about music written by Americans.”

Admission is free.

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


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Grad Application Date Extended To Oct. 31

Students who anticipate graduating this December should file degree applications by Monday (Oct. 31) with the Registrar's Office.

Those who fail to apply by the deadline will be assessed a $30 late application fee in addition to the graduation fee.

Students may fill out and submit an “Application for Degree” at the Registrar's Office, located on the third floor of the Estill Building. The application is available online at http://www.shsu.edu/~reg_www/pdf_forms/Application%20for%20Degree%20Form.pdf.

The application for degree may be submitted to the Registrar's Office by email to ask.regforms@shsu.edu, by fax to 936.294.1737, or in person to the Registrar’s Office.

Upon receipt of the form, the application fee will be applied to student accounts, which can be paid through My Sam or in the Bursar's Office, on the first floor of the Estill Building.

The official SHSU regalia is sold through the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore and is a separate charge. Orders must be placed by Nov. 4, and robes and regalia will be ready for pick up beginning Dec. 5.

December graduation is scheduled for Dec. 16-17.

For more information, visit the Destination Graduation website at www.shsu.edu/reg_www/destination or call 936.294.1040.


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Articulation Agreements Connect SHSU, Two Colleges

Students attending Angelina College or Galveston College can have their work transferred to SHSU easier thanks to articulation agreements signed by the two institutions.

Designed to “enhance the educational experience of students attending both schools,” the agreements allow joint admission, time-compressed degree plans, online articulation, reverse transfer, and cooperative advising.

Joint admission allows students to utilize facilities and programs offered jointly by Angelina College and SHSU by attending both schools simultaneously or alternately. It also will provide free electronic transfer transcript evaluation, the use of SHSU services and programs and a reduced application fee to SHSU.

Time-compressed degree programs will also allow students to simultaneously complete the high school diploma and associate’s degree in four years at Angelina College, a bachelor’s degree in two additional years at SHSU, and a master’s degree in one additional year, in many fields, for a total of seven years.

As part of the online articulation aspect, course work completed for the associate’s degree will be applicable to more than 50 undergraduate majors.

SHSU has similar articulation agreements with more than 40 colleges and community colleges in the state.


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High School Teachers Get Forensics Lessons

Approximately 63 high school teachers from across the state gathered at SHSU on Oct. 13-14 to learn about the latest tools for teaching forensic science in the classroom.

The annual High School Criminal Justice Instructor Training at the College of Criminal Justice taught teachers about the latest practices and research in ballistics and bloodstain patterns, toxicology, arson investigation, drug impairment, digital forensics and forensic psychology from professors at SHSU and practitioners in the field.

“I’ve gotten several new lesson plans to incorporate into the curriculum or to enhance what I already have,” said Tom Cave, of Lanier High School.

For the program, teachers visited the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science facility and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Walls Unit, and sat in on college classes on criminology, victimology and white-collar crime.

In addition to learning from professionals in the field, teachers also had a collaborative session where they swapped lesson plans that have been successful in their own classrooms.

SHSU presenters included Chi-Chung (Jorn) Yu, CJ assistant professor, who provided insight on how to use everyday items—such as a stick, elastic string, and a laser pointer—to study bullet trajectories at a crime scene; Sarah Kerrigan, director of the SHSU Regional Crime Lab, who discussed tools to identify controlled substances and to determine the purity, volume and location of where it originated; and Andy Bennett, director of SHSU’s Center of Excellence in Digital Forensics, who discussed the electronic devices in use today that can yield evidence in a criminal investigation.

Chantal Bergeron, a doctoral candidate at SHSU, talked about the traits of psychopathy, a mental disorder in which an individual manifests amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity and a failure to learn from experience. She showed teachers experiments and websites that could be used to illustrate this disorder that affects approximately 1 percent of the general population and up to 15 percent of the inmate population. She also showed “successful” psychopaths who have used to the same traits to get ahead in business.

“Hosting and delivering this annual conference for high school criminal justice and forensic science teachers continues to be a win-win,” said Holly Miller, College of Criminal Justice assistant dean for undergraduate programs. “The teachers are able to utilize the latest knowledge and research presented at our conference in their classrooms, and we are able to promote our recognized College of Criminal Justice and Sam Houston State University.”


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SHSU Fishermen Participate In Regional Tournament

Brittain and WalkerSam Houston State University was represented by the team of Seth Brittain and Tanner Walker at the National Guard FLW College Fishing Texas Regional Championship last weekend (Oct. 13-15).

The two, both sophomore members of SHSU’s collegiate bass fishing team, finished 16th in the tournament, which was won by the Stephen F. Austin State Team of Andrew Upshaw and Ryan Watkins.

Brittain and Walker earned their spots in the regional tournament after beating out 41 other teams from 28 universities earlier this year at the National Guard FLW College Fishing-Texas Division tournament in Sam Rayburn.

The win earned them the grand prize of $10,000 for SHSU and the team.

The top five teams in the regional tournament qualified for the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship. They included two teams from Texas A&M University, a team from Louisiana State University and a team from Texas A&M—Corpus Christi.

Coverage of the FLW College Texas Regional Championship will be broadcast in high-definition on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, will air Nov. 27 from noon to 1 p.m.

For a complete list of final standings visit CollegeFishing.com.


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Today@Sam Submission Guidelines Change

In order to assist members of the Sam Houston State University community in publicizing events, the SHSU Communications Office (Today@Sam) is now requesting that students, faculty and staff submit information about events, accomplishments or ideas for feature stories online.

Submission criteria and guidelines, including deadlines, have now been placed online, at http://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/guidelines.html. This information is also accessible through the “Submissions” link in the right-hand navigation on Today@Sam.

From there, those submitting ideas can access forms that will allow them to provide detailed information about their idea, as well as attach event calendars, vitas/resumes or photos, depending on the type of submission.

Ideas submitted to the SHSU Communications Office are directly utilized in several ways: as news stories, “slider” or SHSU home page stories, hometown releases, and on the Today@Sam calendar.

If your submission qualifies for distribution, we will either contact you for more detailed information, or we will edit the information using SHSU/journalistic style and forward the final release to the appropriate media.

All information is verified before release, so please provide complete, accurate and timely information. Please type all responses in appropriate upper and lower cases.

For more information, contact the Communications Office at 936.294.1836 or today@sam.edu.



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SHSU Media Contacts: Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Oct. 21, 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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