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SHSU Update For Week Of April 29

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Simulcast To Promote Leadership Friday

Sam Houston State University will join with more than 600 other universities and corporations that will bring together an anticipated 125,000 people from across the country for the second annual Huntsville-Walker County Leadercast on Friday (May 4).

The national Chick-fil-A-sponsored simulcast will be from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

The event will include 10 presentations by nationally recognized lecturers, who will be speaking live from Atlanta on a variety of topics. The lectures will be broadcast to audiences across the country.

Among this year’s speakers are Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor and special correspondent; Tim Tebow, NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner; Marcus Buckingham, strength strategies and best-selling author; Angela Ahrendts, chief executive officer for Burberry; Roland Fryer, professor of economics at Harvard University and CEO of the Education Innovation Laboratory; and Urban Meyer, ESPN analyst and former head coach for the University of Florida.

Registration will begin at 7 a.m. on the day of the event, followed by a live emcee at 7:45 a.m. and presentations that will begin at 8 a.m. Lunch will also be served during the event.

The leadercast is open to the members of the Huntsville and Walker County communities.

Tickets are $55, and only a few remain for the overflow event. Attendees can earn professional development, or continuing education, credit.

“We really wanted to have a program that would be beneficial to our whole community and would be something that our leaders and emerging leaders could learn from; something that would bring us together as a community,” said Kristy Vienne, assistant vice president for Student Services and director of SHSU’s OneCard Services. “This is one of the only large-scale programs we do as a whole community. This is not just about the leadership program but a program that helps our community come together with a common goal in mind, helps understanding what it means to build leaders, and presents a networking opportunity for all the various parties at one event.

“I feel like every person gets something different out of the event,” she said. “There is such a variety of speakers that I feel everyone can walk away with a message that impacts them and a message that helps them to make a difference; this event has something for everyone.”

Those interested in individual tickets should visit the online registration at http://www.shsu.edu/~slo_stdss/leadercast/tickets.html, and those interested in sponsorship should contact Vienne at 936.294.2277.



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Spanish Film To Highlight Seductive Bet

The story of a bet to seduce a nun and an engaged woman will be presented on Tuesday (May 8) as part of the Newton Gresham Library and the foreign languages department’s final Spanish Film Series.

The showing of “Amar y morir en Sevilla (Don Juan Tenorio)” will begin at 3:30 p.m. in NGL Room 155.

The adaptation of the classic “Don Juan Tenorio,” written by José Zorrilla explores a bet by Don Juan and Don Luis Mejia, both notorious fighters and seducers, to ravish a novice nun and a damsel about to get married within six days. The loser of the bet will forfeit his life.

Don Juan ups the ante when he tells Don Luis that the damsel will be Doña Ana de Pantoja, who is engaged to marry Don Luis.

The 90-minute Spanish drama stars Antonio Doblas, Ana Ruiz and José Luis García Pérez. Based on the play by José Zorrilla.

The NGL’s Spanish Film Series was planned as a result of a new service launched by the America Reads Spanish program and the American Library Association called the Dias de Cine Reading Club, which provides registered libraries with free online access to Spanish films based on Spanish literature, according to Erin Cassidy, assistant professor and web services librarian.

“My primary goal is to offer students, as well as faculty and staff, a chance to experience a different cultural perspective in an engaging way, through movies,” she said. “I also want to promote an interest in the Spanish literature collection here at the library, so suggested reading lists will be available at each film.”

For more information, contact Cassidy at ecassidy@shsu.edu or 936.294.4567.



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Music Concerts End Semester On High Note

SHSU’s School of Music will end its semester with a guest and honors recital beginning Tuesday (May 1).

Guest artists Bruce Cain and David Asbury, who will perform on the SHSU campus on May 1. —Submitted photo

The Southwestern University Faculty Guitar and Voice Recital will at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

Bruce Cain and David Asbury will share "An Evening of New American Songs for Voice and Guitar," featuring a program of original works written within the last year.

Cain, an associate professor of music and director of the opera theatre at Southwestern University, has performed in operas and concerts throughout the United States and Europe.

He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance at McMurry University, Master of Music in voice performance at Indiana University, and Doctor of Music in voice performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University.

His most recent and notable operatic appearances include portraying “Papageno” in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” with the Natchez Opera Festival; “Dr. Lomax” in Austin Lyric Opera’s production of “Cold Sassy Tree;” and “Ford” in Verdi’s “Falstaff with L’Opera Piccola in Chicago;” “Belcore” in “The Elixir of Love;” and “Dr. Blind” and “Falke” in “Die Fledermaus.”

Since 1998, Cain has conducted the San Gabriel Chorale, a “town and gown” chorus that has a musical relationship between Southwestern University and the Georgetown, Texas, community.
A critically acclaimed guitarist, Asbury has appeared on concert stages throughout the United States, Europe and Central America.

He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts, and Masters and Doctorate of Music degrees from The University of Texas at Austin.

Active as a solo recitalist and chamber musician, Asbury has played in a diverse array of venues and styles, has given numerous performances on radio and television, and has been active as a recording artist and studio musician.

In recent seasons he has played recitals for the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Kiev International Music School, Austin College, Rhodes College, Murray State University, Western Michigan University, Rollins College, Round Top Music Festival, Bay View Music Festival, Biola University, Chattanooga State College, Cloud County Community Arts Series, Montana State University, and Hastings College, among others.

Asbury is also a dedicated teacher, having has served on the faculty of Southwestern University in Georgetown since 1992.

On Thursday (May 3), the “best of the best” in the School of Music will perform during an Honors Recital at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall, according to Peggy DeMers, horn professor.

“These students are selected through competitive auditions by adjudicators from the Houston area,” DeMers said. “This is one of the most varied program at the SHSU School of Music and the most entertaining.”

The program is an hour in length and will contain a variety of music from solo or small ensembles of vocal, instrumental, percussion or piano. During the program’s intermission, the named scholarships for the 2012-13 year will be announced to the recipients.

For more information, or for a complete schedule of music events, call the School of Music at 936.294.1360.



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Exhibit To Celebrate 22 Graduating Seniors

Senior artists who will receive their degrees during the spring commencement exercises will present the culmination of their works at Sam Houston State University during the Graduating Senior Exhibition May 7-12 in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

The exhibit will include works by 22 students graduating with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in studio art, photography, and computer animation.

The senior exhibition is a capstone experience for students completing the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree,” said Debbie Harper, art department audio/visual librarian. “This exhibition will feature the work of students from the department of art working in all media.”

The exhibit reception will follow the commencement ceremony on May 12, in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery. Refreshments will be served during the celebration.

Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information contact Harper at 936.294.1317.



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Final Spring Program To Tour ‘Extreme Planets’

The SHSU physics department will bring the spring planetarium program series to a close by exploring the universe’s most “Extreme Planets” on Friday (May 11).

“Extreme Planets,” which will begin at 7 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 201, shows visitors “how astronomers are discovering planets orbiting other stars and how the environment of some of these worlds might be, according to Michael Prokosch.

During the program, Prokosch will also point out stars and constellations that can be viewed from the spring and summer skies.

The planetarium seats up to 29 visitors and includes a dome that is approximately 18 feet in diameter and more than 20 feet high in the center.

“Extreme Planets” will also be shown on March 23 and May 11. The program “A Dipper Full of Stars” will be presented on Feb. 17 and April 20. All showings are free and will begin at 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Prokosch at 936.294.3664 or visit the Planetarium WikiPage.



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Semester Springs To A Close

Sam Houston State University’s spring semester will begin drawing to a close on May 4, the official last class day.

Final examinations will be from May 7-10, and residence halls will close for the semester at noon on May 11.

Four commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Friday (May 11), at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Saturday (May 12) at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. Terry Williams, H-E-B regional vice president, and State Sen. Ken Armbrister will give the commencement addresses.

Residence halls will open for summer occupancy on May 30 just before the first day of summer classes on May 31. The first summer session will end after final examinations on June 28, and the second summer session will be July 5 through Aug. 2.

Summer commencement is scheduled for Aug. 4.



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Professors To Share Resources With Ugandan Educators

Two curriculum and instruction professors are working to make a global impact in education.
Associate professor Bill Edgington and assistant professor Jim Hynes traveled to Uganda over Spring Break “laying the foundation for what is hoped to be a long relationship with colleagues in Africa involved in teacher preparation,” Edgington said.

The two met with administrators and faculty from Kyambogo University and the Gulu Core Primary Teachers College to exchange “pedagogical and philosophical ideas in regards to preparing teachers, and the groundwork has begun for future exchange of faculty and students,” Edgington said.

“Our purpose in this initial visit was to establish the relationships necessary to build on the global exchange of ideas regarding teacher education,” he said. “We feel we have been successful and this has laid the foundation for not only the exchange of ideas, but in the exchange of faculty and eventually students as well.

“Global collaboration serves to better the programs involved and have a lasting effect on children of two continents,” Edgington said. “At this point, the commitments are verbal, with both sides working towards finalization.”

The project began when Denis Akwar, a member of the faculty of the Gulu Core Primary Teachers College, mentioned he would like to work with SHSU in matters related to teacher education to Hynes, who was in Uganda last summer working as a project team member on a U.S. Department of State grant awarded to Oklahoma State University.

“Our Ugandan colleagues have expressed interest in both on-line master degrees from SHSU and graduate certificates in areas of curriculum and instruction, school administration, and health education,” Edgington said. “We are working with our colleagues in the College of Education on the future delivery of such programs.”

While in Uganda Edgington and Hynes also met with the director and deputy director of Uganda’s National Curriculum Development Center and visited numerous primary and secondary schools. One of the findings was that despite the mileage between the two nations, education and teacher preparation in the United States and Uganda have more commonalities than differences, according to Edgington.

“They are concerned that instructional and assessment strategies emphasized in teacher preparation programs are not necessarily what their candidates are seeing modeled in the schools in which they do field experience,” he said. “In addition, they are concerned that non-core subjects (i.e., music, art, physical education, health) are not given proper attention in the schools because they are not part of the national assessment plan. That is, they are not being tested, so they are not taught.

“Teachers in schools we visited were concerned about, among other things, unrealistic expectations on the part of education policy makers in their schools and not enough resources for effective teaching; identical concerns among teachers in the United States.”



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Theatre Prof Selected As International Prize Director

Leslie SwackhamerAssistant professor of theatre Leslie Swackhamer is making a national impact on the industry as the recently named executive director of the Susan Smith Blackburn prize and as recurring director for a North Carolina-based opera.

The Susan Smith Blackburn prize is the most prestigious award given annually to the American female playwright who is judged to have written the best new play for the year.

As executive director, Swackhamer will oversee the over-all running of the prize, from the submission of scripts for consideration, through the reading and judging process.

Swackhamer said she became affiliated with the “highly competitive” prize after moving to Houston in 2005. Though she had always followed the finalists and winners, when she moved to Houston she learned that the prize is headquartered there and that Blackburn had grown up there.

“Her sister, Mimi Kilgore, founded the prize in her honor,” she said. “I met Mimi through my husband's work at the Alley Theatre.”

The international prize is considered “very important” for women writing plays in English.
“As a direct result of being finalists, many playwrights have received productions, grants and public recognition. The prize has motivated women to write for the theatre, and has also fostered the interchange of plays between the United States and Britain, Ireland and other English-speaking countries,” she said. “It has anticipated later recognition. Seven finalists have subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the only women to be so honored since the founding of the Blackburn Prize.

“For me, being the executive director means that I keep my finger on the pulse of who is writing the important plays,” she said. “I meet amazingly gifted and talented people, and promote their gifts.”

Swackhamer has also received recognition in North Carolina for her direction of the opera “Madam Butterfly,” considered a “smash success” by the Charlotte Observer.

“Swackhamer contributes a visual artifice of her own,” the review reads. “She employs four black-garbed figures who scurry around arranging furniture and delivering props to the cast. They streamline things for the cast.

“But Swackhamer’s main contribution is to bring the humanity that emanates from Lee’s Butterfly weave through all the cast.”

Swackhamer became involved with the professional production through her affiliation with Opera Omaha.

“Jun Kaneko, a world-renowned artist lives in Omaha, and the opera was interested in exploring how he might design for opera,” she said. “The general director of the opera had a hunch that Jun and I would mesh, so she put us together, and we discovered that we were excellent collaborators.

“Before the first production, I worked on this for three years. As the designer had never designed for the theatre, we needed to learn each other's language,” she said. “I have directed seven iterations of this production since the premiere in 2006. Each one looks similar, but with different singers, there are always variations, and I keep refining my ideas about movement.

Many of the singers Swackhamer directed have performed at the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala.

She joined the SHSU faculty in August 2011.



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Cadets Inform Students About Chinese Policing System

Qulong Yuan
Qilong Yuan (Charles) provides an overview of Chinese policing. —Submitted photo

Eight cadets from Zhejiang Police College recently dressed in uniform to present “An Introduction to the Chinese Police System” to criminal justice students, covering information about the police college, Chinese police organizations, surveillance, an integrated police command system, crime prevention, civil mediation practices and investigating techniques.

“To some, China is still a mysterious country,” said Yulu Ye (Crystal). “Over the last 30 years, policing in China has undergone a reform to be more open, tolerant and responsible.”

In China, there are five levels in the police structure, and the system is centralized and integrated: the Ministry of Public Security, followed by provincial police, municipal and county police, and neighborhood police stations.

Since the 1980s, China has used an extensive surveillance system to prevent and investigate crime, maintain social order and assist in the deployment of police. The practice, adopted from a model used in the United Kingdom, was first introduced in airports in Shanghai and Beijing and expanded to major cities, where cameras are found on major roads and arteries and are monitored 24 hours a day. Today, there are 2.7 million cameras throughout the country, according to Chiyun Zhang (Sally).

Yuanyi Zhao (Kira) demonstrated how video surveillance is used to identify crime, develop criminal cases and prevent crime. The system is used in her hometown helping police to arrest 100 to 150 suspects annually.

Ye discussed a new integrated police command system, which combines dispatch, civilian surveillance and information analysis in one center. The system allows police to collect crime data, videos and crime reports to analyze them to identify crime trends.

“It allows us to look at crime proactively. We can detect crime trends and see what happens when a crime occurs,” said Ye, adding that in LuQiao, the system is credited with reducing criminal cases by 5.4 percent, robberies by 11.3 percent, and burglaries by 9.6 percent, while increasing arrests by 38 percent.

The Chinese also are very effective in solving cases, with a 47 percent clearance rate, in comparison to the U.S. clearance rate of 44 percent, said Rusong Xu (Daniel).

“The majority of crime is property crime such as burglary,” said Xu. “The largest crime in property crime is theft.”

Xu said to combat the trends, China has a Community Policing Policy which provides for cooperation between police and residents. It also includes “Great Visits” to get to know people in the community and public opinion-oriented police, where police collect data from residents, making a list of resident priorities, and act on their concerns.

Using a case study involving the armed robbery and kidnapping of a Wen Zhou businessman’s wife, Qi Ye (Michelle) discussed the many investigative techniques used by Chinese Police.

Through the integrated cooperation between different levels in the police department, they can track and arrest suspects throughout the country.

Since 2009, SHSU has participated in an exchange program with police cadets from Zhejiang Police College. Each year, a cohort of 16 students spend their junior year at SHSU, and SHSU criminal justice professors travel to China to teach at ZPC.

Zhejiang Police College, located two hours from Shanghai in Hangzhou, is the only higher institute for police education and training in Zhejiang Province, China. It recruits about 2,000 high school students a year.


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Today@Sam Seeks Summer Calendar Info

The University Communications Office is now collecting information on campus events for its summer and 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.

To see a full list of the Today@Sam submission guidelines, or to access submission forms for news or feature stories, calendar submissions, or hometown releases, visit http://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/guidelines.html.

For more information, call 936.294.1836.



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Submit Update Items Here

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
April 27, 2012
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu




This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office
Associate Director: Julia May
Manager: Jennifer Gauntt
Located in the 115 Administration Building
Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

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

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