American students are performing at much higher levels than critics claim, according to Dr. Gerald Bracey, an independent educational researcher and writer who will be the guest speaker for two upcoming events.

Bracey's topic at a June 18 workshop co-sponsored by the Sam Houston State University Department of Educational Leadership and Aldine school district is "The Greatly Exaggerated Death of Our Schools."

Bracey is also a featured speaker at the 22nd Annual Workshop in School Administration June 19 in the Lowman Student Center. His topic is "Overcoming Disinformation About American Public Schools."

Former drug czar Dr. Lee Brown, now a professor at Rice University, will speak at noon on "Building Bridges with Your Community." Brown is also a former police chief.

Other speakers include Barbara Skeeters, principal of the Scott Johnson Elementary School in Huntsville, who will direct a group presentation on "Partnering for Progress in Individual Student Success." Also, Dan Turner, editor of the Conroe Courier, will discuss "How to Work with the Media."

The campus workshop is co-sponsored by the Department of Educational Leadership and Education Service Center Region VI. Contact Dr. Marion Czaja, associate professor at SHSU, at 294-1148 for details on both events.


A Sam Houston State University criminal justice graduate student has been named winner of the first Texas Corrections Association student research competition.

Dorothy Merianos, who is pursuing a master's degree in corrections, will present her findings June 11 in Corpus Christi during the association's annual conference.

Merianos looked at the aging prison population, finding that offenders are receiving longer sentences and being kept in prisons for longer portions of those sentences. These factors, along with the fact that many new inmates come from unhealthy free world lifestyles, are likely to require prison health care needs for which we are not prepared, she found.

Merianos' research is also expected to be published in the "Texas Journal of Corrections," according to Roy K. Bohrer, the association's executive director, who notified Merianos of her selection.


The SHSU debate squad finished its season recently ranked 17th out of 271 squads nationally, finished second in the Texas/Louisiana region in the annual national debate tournament, and had one member named a debating all-American.

Christy Lowery, senior from Montgomery, was one of only 20 debaters nationally selected to the American Debate Squad. She was also named the outstanding debater in the Texas/Louisiana region, the first time a SHSU student has received the award.

Students who represented SHSU at the national tournament in San Diego in addition to Lowery were Kristi Kochensky, sophomore from Houston, Thomas Dougherty, sophomore from Houston, Michael Scates, sophomore from Baytown, Daniel White, junior from Houston, Ather Ali, freshman from Houston, Chris Kutalek, freshman from Montgomery, and Norah Howe, junior from Abilene.


Retirement receptions have been held for faculty members Dr. Bess Osburn and Dr. Herbert Schumann, and another is planned for postmaster Betty Matthys.

The Department of Language, Literacy and Special Populations hosted a reception for Osburn, professor of education and program coordinator of reading and special education when she took early retirement in 1991. She has taught at SHSU for 17 years, and also served as program coordinator in elementary education and worked on behalf of many organizations and committees.

The Department of Agricultural Sciences hosted a reception for Schumann, professor of agriculture and coordinator of vocational education. He has taught at SHSU for 22 years and has been active in district, area, and state Future Farmers of America leadership contests. He will continue to teach part-time under the university's early retirement program.

Matthys, who is retiring after 21 years of service, will be honored at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Austin Hall. Contact Debbie Birdwell at 294-1017 for more information.


Meredith Arden Barlow, senior Spanish major from Kingwood, has been selected as winner of the SHSU Faculty Centennial Scholarship for the 1996 fall and 1997 spring semesters. She will receive $400 for each semester.

Barlow was praised by one of her nominating professors as "an energetic, self-motivated student who is an excellent reader and who has a fine command of the English language."

Another called her written work "uniformly remarkable, her classroom responses always thoughtful and thought-provoking."

Barlow has worked as a Spanish lab monitor, has served as Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society secretary, and belongs to that group as well as the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society and Gold Key National Honor Society. She has won several other awards, has been on the Dean's List since 1994, and has volunteered at the SAAFE House four hours each week since November.


SHSU UPDATE is produced by the Office of Public Relations at Sam Houston State University. Faculty, staff, and students may contribute material by mail (Box 2105), (fax) 294-1834, e-mail, telephone (294-1836), or visit (212 Rather Communications Building).
May 5, 1996