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SHSU Update for Week of May 27

Summer Session Begins

Things return to normal at Sam Houston State University this week after the break between semesters and a staff holiday for Memorial Day on Monday.

Dorms open at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, with registration for the first summer semester Wednesday and classes beginning Thursday. Almost 5,000 students are expected for the first summer session, which ends with final exams July 3.

July 4 is also a staff holiday.

Other key dates for the remainder of the summer include July 5, dorms opening and registration for the second summer session, August 8, final exams for the second summer session, and Aug. 11, commencement exercises at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Johnson Coliseum.

Dorms open for the fall semester Aug. 19 with classes beginning Aug. 22.

Presidential Finalist to Visit

James F. Gaertner and his wife, Nancy, will visit the Sam Houston State University campus June 6 for a series of meetings with university officials and a reception for faculty, staff and students.

The SHSU University Presidential Selection Advisory Committee has recommended Gaertner as the only finalist for the position of Sam Houston State University president, which becomes vacant with the Aug. 31 retirement of Bobby K. Marks.

The Gaertners will visit with faculty in room 214 of the Lee Drain Building from 2-3:15 p.m.

Students are invited to a 3:30-4 p.m. meeting in room 305 of the Estill Building.

Staff, students and faculty unable to attend one of the earlier sessions are invited to a reception from 4:15-5:30 p.m. in Austin Hall.

Mrs. Nancy Neal of Lubbock, chair of the selection advisory committee, said that "after conducting interviews with several candidates, Dr. Gaertner was selected from a field of over 80 highly qualified applicants and nominees from across the country."

The Board of Regents will consider the committee's recommendation at its quarterly board meeting June 7-8 in Beaumont.

Gaertner (pronounced Gat-ner) is currently on sabbatical from his position as a professor in the College of Business at The University of Texas at San Antonio where he previously served in various capacities including dean of the College of Business and interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

His career includes seven years at the University of Notre Dame where, among other positions, he served as director of their London master of business administration program.

Gaertner received his bachelor of business administration and master of business administration degrees from Sam Houston State University and his Ph. D. from Texas A&M University.

Jazz Ensemble Honored

The Sam Houston State University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Rod Cannon, has been notified that they have received an honor tantamount to selection as the best jazz group in Texas.

The ensemble was selected through a tape competition to perform at the 2002 Texas Music Educators Annual Convention in San Antonio in February.

"This is a distinct honor since only one university band in the state is selected to perform at each yearly convention," said Cannon. "This is the convention where the all-state band, choir, and orchestra perform, which gives the SHSU music program a great showcase."

The convention had a total attendance of over 20,000 music educators this past year. The last appearance by the SHSU Jazz Ensemble at the convention was in 1978.

"This remarkable achievement is one of several indicators that the SHSU School of Music is back at the top among all of the music programs in the state," said Brian Chapman, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "Rod Cannon has done an outstanding job with the Jazz Ensemble and Bob Walzel has led the School of Music back to where it should be."

Bennett Honored for Prison Service

Walter H. Bennett, professor of sociology, has been presented a Distinguished Service Award by Jackson N. Sasser, president of Lee College.

The award was presented at the joint graduation ceremony for graduates of Sam Houston State University, Lee College and Blinn College which took place at the Wynne Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville May 19.

"It is highly unusual for one academic institution to present an award to a faculty member of another institution," said Brian Chapman, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"However, Dr. Sasser explained when presenting the award that the Lee College faculty and administrators wanted to express their appreciation to Dr. Bennett for his 25 years of service as an educator in the TDCJ Institutions and for his enthusiastic support in insuring that inmates participating in the educational programs could transition easily between Lee College and Sam Houston State University."

Tyrone Bledsoe, associate vice president for student services and dean of student life at SHSU, gave the commencement address and received a standing ovation.

SHSU awarded 32 degrees at the ceremony. College level courses are taught by a number of Texas universities within Texas prisons throughout the state.

Bledsoe Invited to Oxford Forum

Tyrone Bledsoe, associate vice president for student services and dean of student life at SHSU, is one of 45 persons invited to participate in the Oxford International Round Table July 29-Aug. 3 at Oxford University in Oxford, England.

Bledsoe will be making a presentation on the Student African American Brotherhood, an organization established in 1990 by Bledsoe for the purpose of enhancing the experiences of black males in higher education.

"The organization has received national recognition as a successful 'retention' model given the success in retaining black males in college," said Bledsoe. "It is expanding to different college campuses with much intensity."

Recently Black Issues in Higher Education did a cover story on Bledsoe and the organization, which has more than 25 chapters around the country.

"I have given many national speeches/lectures on the success of this model," Bledsoe said, "and the Oxford Round Table will be yet another opportunity to spread the good news about the positive experiences of the students involved with the program."

Just this year, Bledsoe has done four national presentations on the organization.

"A number of colleges/universities are interested in the flexibility of the model as a retention tool to work with different types of students, including blacks, Hispanics, men, women, etc," he said.

The Oxford International Round Table focuses on developing partnerships between academic affairs and student affairs, including the retention of students and increasing graduation rates.

Ji Lectures in China

Jiahuang Ji, associate professor in computer science, is one of two academicians from the southernern United States invited to serve on a China Information Technology Overseas Scholars Advisory Committee.

"A couple of years ago, China learned from America the value of forming an IT Advisory Committee, similar to former president Clinton's IT Advisory Committee," said Ji. A faculty member of Rice University was the committee member from the Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Florida area from 1997-1999.

"I feel honored to be one of the committee members," said Ji. "All candidates were highly qualified. For example, one nominee, whose papers are highly valued and cited by a worldwide audience, was from the Super Conductivity Research Center at the University of Houston.

"I believe this program will help me to further promote the exchange programs between the United States and China and should greatly increase the visibility of Sam Houston State University."

The advisory committee met in Beijing on May 9 to attend the China Beijing High Tech International Conference, where they made presentations. They were also scheduled to make presentations at Beijing University and in four other cities--Xi An, Cheng Du, Yang Ling, and Mian Yang for industry and government groups and the most prestigious universities in China.

Ji planned to lecture on "High Tech - a Force of Great Influence Over the U.S. Economy," "Development of China - US Education Exchange Programs," and "Data Mining."

"Dr. Ji has achieved international recognition within the Chinese community," said David Burris, coordinator of the computer science program. "Her achievements include hosting international conferences for the Chinese community in the fields of computer science, offshore oil technology, and medicine. She has been an invited guest of the mayor of Houston and the Chinese Consulate on a regular basis for her contributions to technology, especially with respect to the Chinese community."

Library Honors Veterans

Huntsville's H.E.A.R.T.S (Helping Americans Remember Through Service) Museum and Mrs. Charlotte Oleinik have created several displays to commemorate Memorial Day at the Gresham Library at Sam Houston State University.

"The original idea was to remind students of the sacrifices of veterans from Sam Houston State University," said Ann Holder, interim director, "but the effort overflowed into six displays and a selection of related reading materials to encourage library patrons to further their knowledge of America's history."

A large upright case features a display of poppies, the poem "In Flanders Fields" and photographs of some SHSU alums who lost their lives in service to our country. Immediately adjacent is the World War II uniform of a much decorated Army nurse who served in five major battles.

The central cases on the main floor have displays regarding World War I, World War II, and some items from Vietnam. An Alcalde yearbook from the 1940s features Sam Houston students in uniform and postcards sent home.

There are unit patches, and a few pieces of small military field equipment as well as other memorabilia. The Sam Houston Memorial Museum lent a Colt revolver developed for military use for the Memorial Day case, and materials from the John W. Thomason Room provide additional insight into America's military experience.

The display is expected to remain through early June.

Sports Teams at Field Day

When Scott E. Johnson Elemetary School had its field day last week (May 22) a number of Sam Houston State University students joined in to help introduce the elementary school youngsters to some non-traditional sports.

Members of The Rugby Club, Lacrosse Club, and the Men's and Women's Soccer Clubs put on some demonstrations and conducted games, demonstrated skills and answered questions.

The SHSU representatives were Donna Jordan and Shannon Patterson in women's soccer, Edgar Flores, David Banos, Rafael Tostado and Chris Herrera in men's soccer, Steven Prichard and Earl Attebury in lacrosse, and Gabe Grant, James Browder, Casey Dillon, Conrado Montemayer, Cody Barre, Andy Cruz, Evan Mast, Mehran Almed and Chris Lovitt in rugby.

"We would like to thank Lori Von Dohlen and Scott E. Johnson Elementary School for lunch and the opportunity to interact with the kids," said Richard Duncan, assistant director of recreational sports.

Tutoring Program Certified

Not just everyone can claim to be a "tutor." In addition to having expertise in a subject area, a tutor must be trained by an agency qualified to issue tutor certification.

Sam Houston State University's Academic Enrichment Center has been re-certified for three years by the College Reading and Learning Association's International Tutor Certification Program. The Sam Houston program is thus qualified to issue Regular/Level 1, Advanced/Level 2, and Master/Level 3 tutoring certificates.

The Academic Enrichment Center was created to help students in subjects such as math, writing, and reading. For more information on the center's programs call 936.294.3680 or stop by Room 115 in the Gresham Library basement.

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SHSU Media Contacts: Frank Krystyniak, Julia May
May 27, 2001
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