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SHSU Update for Week of September 19

Exhibit Opens

This treatment of a Life Magazine cover from 1962 is just one of many paintings by artists David Hewitt and Michael R. Collins on display this week at the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

An exhibit of paintings by David Hewitt and Michael R. Collins opens Monday in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery at Sam Houston State University, with an opening reception scheduled from 5-7 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 23.).

Florida artist David Hewitt lives and works in Ecuador, South America. He currently lives in Cumbaya, Ecuador.

"Throughout the '80's, Hewitt worked primarily as a Magic Realist," said Ken Zonker, associate professor of art. "The 'Magazine Paintings' which are being shown are images that exemplify Hewitt's love of detail and fascination with the trompe-l'oeil approach to painting.

"Old, torn, wrinkled magazine covers are his subject. These are sometimes copied in oil paint on wooden panels without changing them at all. Others are reconstructed, creating covers that never existed, but which create the illusion, within the context of the work, of being real. The paintings are historically descriptive as well as being imaginative documentary replications."

"The Light Wraps You" is the title of this oil and lead on linen painting by Michael Collins. Collins will give a lecture and slide presentation at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Art History Auditorium, Room 108 in Art Building E, and will be present for the exhibit opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Thursday in the Geeslin Gallery.

Collins, a Houston native, has had numerous one-man exhibitions, received numerous honors and awards, and in 1998 won the Grand Prize for Painting in the Art League of Houston's 1998 Open Show. He is director of Lowell Collins School of Art in Houston, and artist associate at Houston Baptist University.

The gallery is located at 1028 21st Street on the southwest corner of the SHSU campus, in Art Building F at Sam Houston Ave. and 21st Street. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and by appointment. Call 409-294-1315 for information.

Self-Improvement Outside the Classroom

Self-improvement, leadership and personal skills, help in making a career choice, and documentation of those efforts are all available at Sam Houston State University, but not in the traditional classrooms.

For instance, students who are sure they would like to become teachers can sign up for classes in the College of Education and Applied Science. If they are not sure, however, they can find out more about the field by attending EXCEL workshops offered by the Division of Student Services.

The EXCEL programs (Encouraging X-cellence through Co-curriculum Education and Leadership) is open to students at no cost. Sessions, which began August 30, continue through mid-November.

Workshops are taught by highly qualified faculty, staff, administrators and community leaders. Students who attend at least 15 sessions earn a certificate of completion and are given transcripts listing sessions they attended.

Areas of emphasis include Classroom Techniques (there's one Sept. 21 on "Writing Right: Tips to Improve Your Papers"); Personal Academic Development (Sept. 21 on "Three Secrets of Life"); Cultural (Sept. 22 on "Shadow of Hate"), and Interviewing/Professional Development (Sept. 23 on "Why Do An Internship?")

Upcoming workshops for "might-be" teachers include "So You Want To Be A Teacher," What Is Field Experience in Teacher Preparation?", "Teacher Preparation Program 'Step by Step'," and "Removing the Mystery Surrounding the TEKS."

Also offered are workshops on Communication, Leadership Strategies, Planning/Organizing, Computer Skills and others.

Thelma J. Douglass, vice president for student services, believes the program helps students "achieve maximum academic potential and gain a competitive edge in the job market."

John Delaney, associate vice president for student services, goes a step further. In addition to suggesting that students participate in the EXCEL program, Delaney recommends that students attend at least one university music or dance production or performance, one university athletic event, talk with a professor about something other than a class project, paper or coursework, and attend a program offered by student activities.

For more information on EXCEL, call 409-294-1785.

Graduate Gets 'Fosse' Role

Greg Graham, a May, 1999, BFA musical theatre graduate of Sam Houston State University, is living the fantasy of every actor. Three days after he arrived in New York City, he was cast in a Broadway show, Fosse, the 1999 Tony Award-winning musical. Greg replaced one of the original cast members.

A number which features Greg, "Steam Heat," is reportedly an audience favorite.

Huntsville audiences have seen Greg at the University Theatre Center in such roles as Zach in A Chorus Line, Jinx in Forever Plaid, the Devil in Damn Yankees, the Emcee in Cabaret, and Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance. He was also one of the six dancers who took the award-winning "Sabachthani" to the American College Dance Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

"He was a very busy student here at Sam because he was a talented, focused, hard working person with a 'can-do' attitude," said Jim Miller, who chairs the Department of Theatre and Dance. "Theatre directors and dance choreographers cast him in as many productions as they could.

"He was also developing his own choreographic skills," said Miller. "But at one point when directors and choreographers were in conflict to have him in their works, Greg was asked if he would like for limits to be established to protect him from being worked too hard. He smiled a mischievous grin and replied, 'Not on your life.'

Another former professor, Tom Soare, said Graham also kept getting jobs elsewhere while he was in school, including the Lone Star Theatre in Galveston and in Illinois and Pennsylvania. He was determined to finish his undergraduate degree, however, and kept returning to finish his course requirements.

This summer Graham won an Ann Bradshaw Stokes Foundation grant to attend Ann Reinking's Broadway Theatre Project in Florida. Recommendations from Ms. Reinking and Gwen Verdon led to the invitation for Greg to audition for Fosse.

"Their recommendations carried enough weight to avoid a dance audition," said Soare, "but the casting people did ask him to sing and he passed that hurdle with flying colors."

After signing his contract, Graham entered the cast more than a week before he was expected to. He also called the theatre office to say that he was proud to name Sam Houston State University in his program credits.

Fosse is at the Broadhurst Theatre, at 235 West 44th Street.

Library Offers Databases

Access to scholarly journals dating back into the 1800s are now available at the Newton Gresham Library at Sam Houston State University, thanks to two new full-text databases linked from the library's Web homepage.

The collection of journals is called JSTOR, and includes more than four million pages of information, with new titles and fields being added constantly. Also available is the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), an important source of information on educational research and various education materials.

Ann Holder, interim library director, said that faculty, students and staff are now able to read and print articles from any networked location, such as the library, department offices, and will soon be able to do so from dorm rooms.

Use of the databases, as well as other resources, are also available to community members who have online access or at the library. Information on how to use the library's computer terminals is available at the library reference desk.

While use of Newton Gresham Library services are offered free to community members, those who wish do so can help assure continuation of such services by purchasing a courtesy card for $20 per year. The courtesy cards are available at the library's circulation desk, and are available to those 18 years of age and older.

Questions to Munch On

Sam Houston State University students who are interested in such weighty topics as "What is the Meaning of Life?" and "Do We Have Free Will?" are invited to a philosophy/video/discussion series scheduled each Wednesday.

Frank Fair, philosophy program coordinator, said that the series was started "to give Sam Houston students an opportunity to discuss philosophical questions in an informal atmosphere outside of the regular classroom." Sessions are scheduled from 2-2:50 p.m. each Wednesday in room 205 of the Lee Drain Building.

"At a number of the meetings we will show a half hour video from the acclaimed series 'The Examined Life'," said Fair. "There will be time after the video for discussion of the issues it raises, and people may bring a soft drink and some munchies with them if they want to.

"On other days, instead of a video to provide a starting point, we will be discussing issues voted on by the group."

For more information, contact Fair by e-mail or at 409-294-1509.

Muller to Receive Award

Joe Muller, assistant professor in agricultural mechanization at Sam Houston State University, will receive the national FFA organization's highest honorary award at the organization's national convention October 29 in Louisville, Ky.

The award recognizes those who greatly contribute to the advancement of agricultural education and provide outstanding service to their local program and community. Muller has been an SHSU faculty member two years.

FFA (formerly known as Future Farmers of America) is a national organization of 447,880 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture, with 7,503 local chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands. This year 90 persons will receive the honorary degree.

Gordys Support Sangster Endowment

Thanking Russell and Glenda Gordy for their recent contribution to the Carol Lee Sangster Scholarship Endowment were Ross Quarles, left, accounting department chairman, and Bobby K. Marks, right, SHSU president.

Russell and Glenda Gordy of Kingwood have made a major gift to the recently established Carol Lee Sangster Scholarship Endowment in the College of Business Administration.

Sangster, who is well known in accounting circles and fondly remembered by former students, retired effective March 1, 1999.

Glenda Gordy, a 1973 graduate, also established the Dan Reeves Scholarship in Mathematics in December, 1997. Russell Gordy is a 1972 Sam Houston State University graduate.

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SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
September 19, 1999
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