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SHSU Update For Week Of Sept. 15

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Insurance Fraud Investigator To Give ‘Real Talk’ Sept. 17

To detect fraud in the insurance industry, private investigators from PhotoFax work in some unusual places—a van, at the grocery story, at the gym, at the bowling alley, the woods, or even in the middle of a haystack.

John TodaroFor John Todaro, one of his biggest coups was talking his way into the press box of a high school football game to capture a news cameraman—who claimed his injuries prevented him from doing his job—filming his local team.

Todaro, a recuirter with PhotoFax, Inc., will detail these kinds of exploits when he visits the Sam Houston State University campus on Tuesday (Sept. 17) for the College of Criminal Justice’s “Real Talk w/ CJ” program, beginning at 2 p.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

PhotoFax, Inc., is a nationwide company that specializes in surveillance work in the insurance industry, mostly to document claimants in workman’s compensation, liability, or long term disability cases, but also occasionally handles background investigations, special investigations for accidents, or people traces, such as finding missing heirs in a will.

“We film people wherever they are going throughout the day,” Todaro said. “We are an unbiased third party. We are out there to show their day-to-day activities and what they are doing on a daily basis.”

Todaro, who served as an investigator for three years before promoting to management, said he has filmed or managed some flagrant fraud, such as a woman who claimed total disability and received a wheelchair, wheelchair accessible van, and ramps and other modifications to her home who was caught strolling to her mailbox and neighbor’s home.

During his presentation, he will also discuss the 17-day training in the tricks of the trade, taught by an ex-Army drill sergeant who specialized in clandestine operations, as well as some of the equipment they use.

Investigators also learn the laws of surveillance, such as those against trespassing on private property or taking photos inside homes. The skills learned at Photofax are the same needed in many law enforcement careers, and several SHSU students have used the company as a springboard to federal careers, according to Todoro.

“It is a nice buffer or stepping stone to get you to a federal agency or police officer job,” said Todaro.

The “Real Talk W/CJ” series is designed to introduce college students to professionals in the criminal justice field.

The event also will be carried live on the Internet at cjcenter.org/live.

For more information, contact CJ publications coordinator Beth Kuhles at 936.294.4425.


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ADAI To Alleviate ‘Work-Hard, Party-Hard’ Conundrum

College is about more than just going to class.

Students want to get out and do new things, hang out with their classmates and find ways to have fun; in some cases this means drinking, but not always, according to Eddie Gisemba, coordinator for Sam Houston State University’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative.

The ADAI will address this “Work-Hard, Party-Hard Conundrum,” presenting ways to help students balance the conflicting aspects of college, on Tuesday (Sept. 17) from 4:30-6 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 304.

The program is designed to show students how to balance academic obligations and social life so students can thrive in both areas.

“Research suggests that whether or not a student drinks does not have an impact on their academic performance; however, there is an inverse relationship between the number of drinks/week that a student has and their GPA,” Gisemba said. “Therefore, the more a student drinks, the lower their GPA.

“In the presentation we hope that students will realize how limited their free time really is,” he said. “Furthermore, if they choose to drink they need to find the balance that enables them to thrive academically and socially.”

For more information, contact Eddie Gisemba, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative coordinator, at 936.294.2228.


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Official Ring Order Days To Begin Sept. 17

SHSU ringsStudents who have completed more than 75 credit hours will have the opportunity to order their official class rings during SHSU Ring Days, Tuesday through Thursday (Sept. 17-19) in the Lowman Student Center Atrium.

Orders can be placed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, and those students who order rings will be eligible to participate in the 11th annual Ring Ceremony on April 3.

The popularity of SHSU class rings has increased since the creation of the official ring in 2003 and the inception of the ring ceremony in 2004, according to Charlie Vienne, director for Alumni Relations, adding that more than 450 students participated in last spring’s ceremony.

“The ring ceremony is an important milestone and achievement in a student's educational career,” Vienne said.

“It is a short-term goal in reaching their ultimate long-term goal, a college diploma. The ring is a reminder throughout the rest of your life of the good times and friends met during your brief stay on the Sam Houston campus,” he said.

For more information, call 936.294.1841 or visit alumni.shsu.edu.


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Workshop To Present Financial ‘Survival’ Guide

The Student Money Management Center will help students begin to think ahead by presenting tools that will allow them to navigate through college on a budget that won’t break the post-graduation bank on Tuesday (Sept. 17).

"Surviving College" will be held on Tuesday (Sept. 17), from 2-3 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 315. An encore presentation will also be held on Wednesday (Sept. 18), from 1-2 p.m. in LSC Room 315.

Led by SMMC peer counselor Mike Rivera, “Surviving College” aims to guide students from all classifications to become more knowledgeable about controlling their finances.

“SMMC understands that this time in a student’s life is the perfect learning experience in regard to controlling one’s expenses,” Rivera said. “Many students have had an insight on what many expenses life throws at them, but some have not been educated on how quickly these expenses add up, resulting in students believing they have more money than they have to spend.”

A part of this is helping students differentiate between their “needs versus wants” and how making a lifestyle change today can contribute to a more comfortable lifestyle after college.

“At the completion of this event, SMMC hopes students will understand the importance of making a budget considering many expenses add up quickly,” Rivers said. “We also hope students will be able to prioritize their expenses and recognize those needs versus their wants.”

For more information, contact SMMC program coordinator Andrea Rabon at 936.294.2602.


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Tickets Still On Sale For Theatre Scholarship Gala

Sam Houston State University’s Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre will host an evening of musical cabaret to support student scholarships during the 2013-2014 Scholarship Gala on Friday (Sept. 20).

“Some Enchanted Evening: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein” will kick off at 6 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

This year’s annual event, dedicated to the memory of long-time supporter and patron Ethel Nicholson, will include American show tunes, hors d’oeuvres, and live and silent auctions with donated items including winery tour/tastings, sports packages, fine jewelry, Houston-area theatre tickets and a special one-week condominium stay at the destination of choice.

“The evening promises to be a fun event,” said Ronald Shields, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication. “But the real joy and fulfillment is being able to put the funds raised back into the mission of supporting the great talents of our students.”

The annual scholarship gala provides student scholarships for theatre and musical theatre students.

“Much of the departments’ success lies in the ability to attract and retain some of the best talent in this region by providing much needed scholarship opportunities,” said Penny Hasekoester, chair of the department of theatre and musical theatre.

Tickets are $50 per person and $30 for parents of SHSU theatre and musical theatre students and theatre alumni. They can be purchased at the door.

For more information, call 936.294.3968 or visit shsu.edu/famc.


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Distinguished Educator Nominations Due Nov. 1

The Sam Houston State University College of Education is seeking alumni educators who have made significant contributions to the field for its “2014 Distinguished Educator of the Year” awards.

Nominations will be accepted until Nov. 1 in five categories: Distinguished Elementary Teacher, Distinguished Secondary Teacher, Distinguished Support Professional, Distinguished Administrator and Friend of Education.

“There are events that are important throughout the year at SHSU, but for the College of Education, the Distinguished Educator of the year is the event of the year,” said Jerry Bruce, interim dean of the College of Education. “The event is recognized throughout our region as an outstanding affair with over 250 persons in attendance.

“Many of the recipients have said this was the highlight of their careers, and nominations come in from across the state,” he said. “The event has honored persons such as state Rep. Lois Kholkhorst, as well as organizations such as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and H-E-B.”

Support professionals include, but are not limited to, counselors, specialists, diagnosticians and librarians; and the Friend of Education award recognizes individuals or businesses that have made a significant contribution to the field of education.

Nominees must be an SHSU College of Education alumnus and have demonstrated expertise or outstanding service, either current or retired, in the classroom, school, district and/or community. The Friend of Education is not required to be an SHSU alumnus.

A letter of recommendation describing why the nominee should receive a Distinguished Educator of the Year Award should also be included with the application.

Self-nominations are also welcome.

A semi-formal, black tie optional ceremony recognizing award winners and nominees will be held on March 1, 2014, in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

Nominations forms are available online at shsu.edu/academics/education/distinguished-educator and should be submitted to SHSU College of Education; Attn: Event Coordinator; Box 2119; Huntsville, TX, 77341; or by fax to 936.294.1102.

For more information, contact Sherry Hirsch, COE events coordinator, at edu_slh@shsu.edu or 936.294.1101.


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Today@Sam Seeks Fall 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.

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
Sept. 13, 2013
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu






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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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