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SHSU Update For Week Of Feb. 2

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Forum To Examine Influence Of ‘Black Fridays’


Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe was published in 1719, but its popularity spanned well into the 20th century, becoming one of the most popular children’s books between 1850-1930, according to Victoria Lantz, an adjunct English lecturer at SHSU.

Not only did the book yield an enormous number of castaway novels, but the story’s characters were also influential.

Among those is Friday, a native islander whom Crusoe takes on as a servant, who “fascinated readers as an exotic character,” Lantz said.

Lantz, too, was fascinated by the character and began looking at the influence Friday had on adaptations throughout the period that the book was popular.

She will discuss that influence on Friday (Feb. 7), as part of the English department’s first First Friday Forum presentation of the semester.

Her talk, “Black Fridays: Popular Culture, Race, and Postcoloniality Surrounding Robinson Crusoe’s Friday,” will begin at 3 p.m. in Evans Building Room 212.

The paper traces the colonial and racist staging of Defoe’s character Friday in popular arts—from Victorian pantomime, blackface minstrelsy and animated cartoons—which play on racial stereotypes and turn Friday into a “clown figure” in the Western collective imagination.

“Essentially, I look at presentations of Friday as a character in popular culture like cartoons, minstrel shows and pantomime to show how the public feared and stereotyped Africans and African-Americans in the early 20th century,” Lantz said.

“My research is African and Caribbean literature and performance, and part of the reason I am interested in this topic is that I often look at the cultural exchanges between colonial powers, like Britain and America, and colonized nations,” she said. “What is so interesting or important about this talk is how popular opinion and mainstream entertainment dictated how Friday changed in public imagination, compared to what is in the original novel.”

Lantz earned her doctorate in theatre and drama from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The First Friday Forum is designed to highlight research by graduate faculty and fellow graduate students.

For more information, contact forum coordinator Paul Child, professor of English, at 936.294.1412.

 

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Museum To Get Romantic With ‘Letters’ Exhibit


The Sam Houston Memorial Museum will spread the love throughout February with an exhibition that mixes history and romance.

Houston letter
This letter from Sam to Margaret, written in March 1857, will be included in the exhibit. —Photo by Casey Roon.

“The Letters” presents “a rare opportunity for the public to view actual correspondence between Gen. Sam and Margaret Houston during the time the Houstons occupied the Woodland Home,” according to museum marketing coordinator Megan Buro.

The special exhibition, which will be on display from Tuesday (Feb. 4) until April 30 in the museum’s rotunda, will feature four letters between Gen. Sam and Margaret Houston that were donated by the Houston family.

“I chose letters that were beautiful in the actual writing, that conveyed the love between the couple,” said Casey Roon, museum curator of exhibits. “I also wanted letters that fell during the time frame that the Houstons lived in the Woodland Home.”

Among the intrigue associated with the correspondences between the Houstons was a legend that says that Margaret would fold a heart-shaped catalpa leaf into her letters to mail to Sam, who was away in Washington D.C., serving in the senate, according to Roon.

The transcriptions of these letters and more can be found in The Personal Correspondence of Sam Houston, Volumes I–IV, edited by Madge Thornall Roberts, all of which can be purchased in the Wigwam Neosho Museum Store.

For more information, contact Buro at 936.294.3839 or visit the museum on Facebook.

 

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Job Fair To Bring Agricultural Agencies To Campus


Representatives from 30 different agricultural-related entities will be on campus Thursday (Feb. 6) to speak with students about full-time jobs and internships during the Agricultural and Industrial Sciences Career Fair.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

Among the agencies scheduled to attend are Bayer Crop Science; Collier Construction; Halliburton; Nucor Steel; Spring Creek Growers; Sanderson Farms, Inc.; TDIndustries; Texas Parks & Wildlife; and the USDA Farm Service Agency, among many others.

The event is open to students from all academic backgrounds, with employees being sought for positions in management and accounting, retail, engineering, communications, manufacturing, and construction, as well as other agricultural-related jobs.

Students who are registered on Jobs for Kats can get a jumpstart on finding a job or internship by logging on, at JobsforKats.com, to find a complete list of participating agencies, as well as descriptions of positions being sought.

All Career Services events are open to both students and alumni.

For more information, contact Career Services at 936.294.1713.

 

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Group To Encourage Sex Education Through 'Dark' Event

Gamma Sigma Kappa, the Gay-Straight Alliance at Sam Houston State University, is offering Bearkats the chance to ask all of the questions they’ve been afraid to ask during “Sex in the Dark” on Thursday (Feb. 6).

The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 304.

Led by Student Health Center programming coordinator Lisa Clarkson, licensed vocational nurse Frieda Turner and registered nurse Alice Stenstadvoid, “Sex in the Dark,” allows participants to ask anonymous questions about sex.

“Each question is written on a Post-it note, the notes are collected, and then the lights are turned off in the room. The facilitators are at the front of the room with a flashlight and will read each question and then answer them,” Clarkson said. “We also allow other audience members to give feedback, but only if comments are respectful.”

GSK is hosting the event because the group is an all-inclusive group, and one of the organization’s missions is to provide and advance knowledge on LGBT issues and culture, according to president Cody Brannan.

“The ‘Sex in the Dark’ program is one designed to address the sexual education needs of students. LGBT sex education is often not addressed in the school system and most students do not receive appropriate education on LGBT sex issues,” Brannan said. “By hosting this event and making it public, we are empowering the on-campus LGBT community and its allies by preparing them for sex and providing an educational environment where all questions remain anonymous.”

Because of the anonymity component of the program, Brennan said they anticipate a wide range of questions to be asked, from LGBT-related questions to “unconventional questions that are not usually answered in basic sex education curricula.”

“Hosting this event creates an environment where students are encouraged to talk about sex openly and any concerns or issues they may have can be addressed,” Brennan said. “We want to promote safe sex regardless of orientation, but due to the stigma of gay sex we find that LGBT people have less access to accurate information. Comprehensive sex education is critical to a young person's sexual health.”

For more information, contact Brennan at codybrannan@shsu.edu.

 

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Annual Auction To Support Baseball Team


The Sam Houston State University Athletics department will offer sports fans the opportunity to engage in the sport of fishing while supporting the Bearkat baseball team during the annual banquet and auction on Saturday (Feb. 8).

auction itemThe annual event will auction off three weeklong vacation packages among the other items up for bid from 5-9 p.m. at the Lowman Student Center.

Among those trips are a condo in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, for a week-long fishing vacation; a Port O’Connor, Texas, Guided Fishing Trip with Captain Sledge Parker; and a guided fishing trip with Captain Dave Kveton at El Pescador Lodge in Port O’Connor.

Live and silent auctions will also allow fans of all sports to bid on team memorabilia and apparel; art work; autographed baseballs, bats and uniforms; and sporting event tickets.

Steve Sparks, former all-conference pitcher for the Bearkats and Major League Baseball player, will be the guest speaker.

Tickets are $100 per person or $1,000 for a table of 10, and all proceeds benefit the Sam Houston baseball enrichment fund. Advance purchase is not required but is encouraged, as the event is already filling up, according to Ashten Ackerman, Athletics special events coordinator.

SHSU is two-time defending Southland Conference baseball champions and have earned consecutive at-large berths in the NCAA regionals.

"Each year this event gets bigger and better," SHSU head coach David Pierce said. "We look forward to seeing everyone come out and help us get the 2014 season off to a great start. With back-to-back Southland championships and NCAA tournament appearances to celebrate plus the opportunity to meet our team for this season, it's going to be a lot of fun."

For more information, or to make a reservation, call 936.294.2364.

 

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Concerts To Mix Disciplines, Eclectic And Popular


The SHSU School of Music will present a concert featuring a faculty collaboration and another offering an “eclectic” program this week, with performances on Thursday (Feb. 6) and Friday (Feb. 7).

“Musically Speaking,” the Thursday concert, will include a multi-disciplinary performance from Lungta, a faculty duo comprising associate professor of percussion John Lane and adjunct trumpet instructor Amanda Pepping, who will perform as assistant professor of English Nick Lantz reads some of his poetry.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.
“We will give the world premiere of our new collaborative work, ‘In Place,’ featuring Lantz's poetry and original music by Lungta,” Lane said. “The program will feature musical performances by Lungta, as well as poetry readings by Lantz.”

"Lungta"—a Tibetan word meaning "wind-horse" and is associated with positive energy or life force—was formed in 2012.

The duo is dedicated to creating original works and a personal repertoire based largely on collaborations with composers and artists of various disciplines, according to Lane.

Admission is free.

On Friday, saxophonist Robert Young will present original compositions and popular arrangements during a guest concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall.

For the concert, Young, accompanied by staff pianist Kaju Lee. will perform an “eclectic mix of repertoire,” from works by Ned Rorem and David Biedenbender to the more well-known “Violin Sonata,” by César Franck, and “Piano Sonatine,” by Maurice Ravel.

“The saxophone is often associated with jazz and popular music, but it is also a great instrument for classical music,” said Masahito Sugihara, assistant professor of saxophone. “This program will showcase the saxophone's, and our guest artist's, versatility and virtuosity.”

Earlier in the day, Young will present a free master class from 2-4 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall, during which Young will coach some of Sugihara’s students through solo and chamber music.

Tickets for Young’s recital are $15 for general admission, $12 for senior citizens and $5 for SHSU students. Admission to the master class is free.

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

 

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Library Workshops Offer Faculty, Student Research Tools


While many students use the library as a place to study or simply find books, the Newton Gresham Library also hosts workshops that provide students and faculty members research tools to make their studies more productive.

Newton Gresham LibraryStudents in all disciplines can learn to use research databases in a number of fields with workshops that students can attend based on their individual schedules.

The database workshops provide hands-on introductions to electronic databases and full text sources for research, covering topics such as database selection criteria, construction of search strategies or statements, interpretation of search results and locating information found.

“From English and art to business, the librarians of Newton Gresham Library can help students learn to navigate our online subject databases through these workshops,” said Marsha Dickens, NGL associate. “Each librarian is a subject specialist who can help students learn to use the databases to do research for their paper or project.”

A list of database workshops and how to schedule an appointment for training can be found at library.shsu.edu/about/subject.html.

The library will also show students and faculty how to access its many electronic book holdings through smart tablets with two workshops, on March 4, at 1 p.m., and on April 4, at 11 a.m., both in NGL Room 157.

Finally, faculty members can learn to use Turnitin, a plagiarism detection tool, during workshops on Feb. 3, at 9 a.m.; March 4, at 2 p.m.; and April 4, at 10 a.m., all in NGL Room 157.

“Our librarians are very knowledgeable and eager to help those wanting more instruction with library resources and tools,” Dickens said. “These workshops are offered every semester to provide more training for students and faculty. Students, especially, are encouraged to attend to learn research techniques for writing papers.”

For more information on library workshops, or a complete list of dates and times, visit library.shsu.edu/research/guides/tours.html.

 

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Institute Joins ‘Elite’ Invasive Species Network


Jerry Cook, director of the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species at Sam Houston State University.

The North American Invasive Species Network has named the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species at Sam Houston State University as the newest member and hub for its elite organization.

The ISIS is now one of nine regionally based centers that address invasive species issues specific to that area to be supported by the network organization.

“We are honored to receive this international recognition from the North American Invasive Species Network,” said Jerry Cook, ISIS director and associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs. “The Institute for the Study of Invasive Species is becoming one of the most comprehensive invasive species centers in America. We look forward to contributing to the management and study of invasive species at this new level.”

NAISN operates exclusively in the United States, Canada and Mexico and strives to unify invasive species efforts across the continent by streamlining the process of communication and collaboration between its members.

The Institute for the Study of Invasive Species is overseen by the Texas State University System and is located in Huntsville.

It houses analytical, molecular genetics and toxicology labs and has geographic information systems and economic analysis abilities. The institute focuses on invasive species threatening Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and the West Gulf Coast area with the support of the Texas State University System’s network of eight institutions across the Lone Star State.

“This appointment recognizes the Institute for the Study of Invasive Species as a leading regional leader in invasive species work,” Cook said. “We are excited for the new possibilities and collaboration this well bring.”

 

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Staff Council ‘Spotlights’ Residence Life Coordinator


Katy PeltonKaty Pelton, the residence life area coordinator for the Residence Life department, was selected by the Sam Houston State University Staff Council as the January “Staff Spotlight.”

Pelton is in her fifth year of full-time employment with Residence Life, where she supervises the residence hall director group, various collateral assignments and department programming efforts.

She began her career with Residence Life as an undergraduate student.

In the fall, Pelton also began teaching the University 1301, “Introduction to Collegiate Studies,” class offered as a freshman seminar.

“I learned so much about teaching and enjoyed the daily student interaction that revolved around academics,” she said.

Pelton has served on the Annual Fund Committee, representing Student Services, as well as on the FORWARD committee.

She lives in Magnolia with her fiancé, dog and cat.

She said she enjoys trying new restaurants, boating and fishing, and loves to read. Their house specialty is hosting the Super Bowl party every year, complete with a theme, decorations and full menu.

Those skills carry over into her work life, as Pelton said is always looking for new themes and ways to celebrate during their monthly department events.

“We are also always looking for creative ways to recognize people and special days to celebrate (like Armed Forces Day),” she said.

Pelton works to motivate others by setting an example and providing honest feedback that will help improve performance and personal growth.

Her personal motivation comes from desire to continue learning, explore new ideas and take advantage opportunities that are made available, she said.

 

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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
Jan. 31, 2014
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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