Today@Sam - SHSU Campus News Online Sam Houston State University Seal
In the News
SHSU Homepage

SHSU Experts
SHSU Stats
Sam the Man
SHSU History
Austin Hall

Heritage Magazine
Huntsville Item
The Houstonian
Gov. Links
Useful Links
Theater & Dance
SHSU Athletics
Rec. Sports
Request Info
General Info
Then & Now
The President
Public Relations
Post Office
Search SHSU

SHSU Update for Week of Sept. 21

Spring Graduation Registration Deadline Approaches

Students who anticipate graduating on May 15, 2004, are to file degree applications by Oct. 10 in the Registar’s Office, located on the third floor of the Estill Building.

Back To His Roots: Ramos To Be Second Series Speaker

Vincent Ramos, former state executive director for the Texas chapter of League of United Latin American Citizens, will be the second Grassroots: Discussions on Leadership in a Diverse Community series speaker.

Ramos, a SHSU alumnus, will speak on Sept. 24 at 5 p.m. in the Olson Auditorium, located in Academic Building IV. The event is presented by Academic Support Programs of the SHSU SAM Center.

Ramos received his master’s degree in criminal justice management in 1988 and went on to receive his doctorate in school psychology from Texas A&M University in 1993.

A community and political advocate, his work resulted in some unprecedented legislation during the 77th Legislature, including the Hate Crimes Bill, Indigent Defense Bill, “Tulia” Bill and Racial Profiling Bill. His proudest accomplishment during his work in Austin was his contribution in establishing an unprecedented coalition between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which facilitated the achievements of the 77th Legislature.

During his brief tenure with LULAC, he oversaw the development and fruition of the first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Texas LULAC and Texas NAACP, which served as a catalyst to motivate the black and Hispanic caucuses to follow suit.

Currently, he serves as director of the Center for Cross-Cultural Pediatric Behavioral Health at the University of North Texas in the Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work and Addictions and Director of Training for Fort Worth ISD. 
Health Center To Offer Free Flu Shots As flu season approaches, the SHSU student Health Center will try to give students a bit of protection from infection by administering the influenza vaccine at no charge to students on Oct. 1-2.

Health Center staff members will be set up in the Lowman Student Center atrium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with 1,000 doses of the vaccine, double the number available in previous years, which will be supplied on a first-come, first-serve basis, according to Keith Lott, Health Center director.

“The flu season typically runs from November through March,” Lott said. “Historically, these are the months in which the highest frequencies of influenza have been recorded.”

Students should take this opportunity to receive the free vaccination because of the problems that arise from getting the flu.

“Influenza can cause a significant disruption to a student's academic pursuits, which could affect a student's ability to remain at SHSU,” he said. “It is important that the university take proactive measures to contribute to the retention of our students.”

Students must present their ID card prior to receiving the vaccine. For more information, call the Health Center at 936.294.1805.

Conroy Quoted For Role In 'Death House'

Forensic psychologist Mary Alice Conroy was recently quoted in the Austin American-Statesman for her interview in Huntsville residents Virginia and David Owens’ book "Living Next Door to the Death House."

The book focuses on how the “death house” has affected the lives of Huntsville residents, including correctional officers, wardens, chaplains, professors, Conroy and parents of both offenders and victims, “who, one way or another, confront its presence daily,” said Austin free-lance writer Stuart Wade in his review of the book for the Statesman.

Conroy, an associate professor in the SHSU department of psychology and the director of clinical training for the forensic clinical psychology program, is quoted within the review as an expert witness in criminal cases.

“Conroy, who worked in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for 20 years, testifies in court and sometimes assesses already-chosen jurors,” Wade said of her in his review. “She also lends expert opinion to measuring a convicted criminal's future risk to society.”

This, too, is what Conroy discusses in the Owens’ book.

"If you're doing a risk assessment of people on the streets, the biggest predictor you have is their past history of violence," she noted in the book. "But that doesn't necessarily predict how he's going to act in prison. If it did, death row . . . should have been a slaughterhouse.

"The murder rate at TDJC is lower than the murder rate in Dallas. You're safer walking a cell block than you are walking in the parking lot of K-Mart after dark."

Overall, Wade considered the book to be “an uneven documentary pastiche that comes off at times like local news copy”; however, despite the fact that the two authors clearly oppose capital punishment, he said, “they’ve managed to resist moralizing, and they include the views of several residents who support the death penalty.”

Health Center Helps Smokers Kick The Habit

Longevity of life and a decreased risk of cancer: those are two reasons people should quit smoking, according to Health Center LVN Frieda Turner.

“People aren’t as sick as they are when they’re smoking,” she said. “It’s a matter of health—that’s what we’re really pushing for.”

To help students, faculty and staff kick the habit, the Health Center is offering a tobacco cessation program throughout the semester. The four-week, one-hour per week, program consists of providing education, resources and support for smokers.

Turner said the center will work around both students’ and staff members’ schedules for classes.

“We usually go Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, 4 to 5, but it’s not a set time,” she said. “It depends on who’s in the class, and what we can work around for them.”

Although the sessions are generally held four times, they can be extended to six if students, faculty or staff feel they need the extra support.

“If we have a situation where we have students who feel that they need to go an extra week then we’ll have the support group for six weeks, but it usually ends at four,” Turner said.

Feedback from the program has been good, Turner said, and those who have been unable to quit find they smoke considerably less.

The program is free and is held at the Health Center. For more information, or to sign up, call Turner at 936.294.1805.

'Anything Goes' On University Theater Center Mainstage

The SHSU department of theatre and dance will present an American classic that takes a reminiscent look at the ‘Roaring 20s’ as the S.S. American prepares to embark on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean with a production of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.”

The play will be on the University Theatre Center Mainstage Sept. 24-27 at 8 p.m. each night, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, as well as special Parents’ Weekend performances on Oct. 3-4.

Choreographed and directed by Jonathan Charles, the play features SHSU students Charles Swan, as Billy Crocker; Heather Scheffel, as Hope Harcourt; Dylan Godwin, as Evelyn Oakleigh; Ben Mikolaj, as Moonface Martin; Haley Dyes, Bonnie; and Melissa Pritchett, as Reno Sweeny. The show also features Matt Redden, Kira Brasel, Paul B. Copenhaver, Brian Frolick, Claire Menger, Natalie Wilson, Jennifer Dyer and Katie Clarke.

Senior theatre major Chimmy Gunn is the stage manager; junior theatre major Steven Kemp designed the set; faculty member Don J. Childs is working lights; and faculty member Kristina S. Hansen designed the costumes.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for all SHSU students, faculty and staff, or senior citizens. For reservations, call the theatre department at 936.294.1339 or 936.294.1329.

Teams Needed For American Heart Walk

Teams representing Sam Houston State University are now being recruited for the 2003-04 Walker County Division American Heart Walk, which will be held Nov. 1.

The deadline to have teams in place is Sept. 26 so that captains will have time to distribute materials to their members for the collection of pledges before the date of the walk.

The walk will be held at Bowers Stadium with a route to go through the Sam Houston State campus, down Bearkat Boulevard, and back to the stadium.  The four-mile route has a stopping point at the stadium after two miles.

Teams can be comprised of faculty, staff, students, alumni, or a combination of any of the groups.  Those who are interested in forming a team or serving as team captains should contact Maggie Babcock, special events coordinator at SHSU, by e-mail or by calling 936.294.3415.

Physics Prof Named To Astronomy Education Board

Assistant professor of physics C. Renee James has been appointed to a three-year term on the Astronomy Education Board, an advisory body to the American Astronomical Society.

The individuals selected for service on this board are experienced astronomers and/or educators. James was chosen in recognition of her role in astronomy and physics education at SHSU.

The Astronomy Education Board consists of 10 astronomy educators from around the country and includes the former president of the AAS, as well as several textbook authors. The board is charged with the oversight of the educational activities of the AAS.

It accomplishes this task by conducting a comprehensive view of current educational activities and recommends optimal mechanisms for an effective astronomy education strategy and the role for the society in exercising leadership in education.

James received her Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Rice University and a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin.

Sociology Professor Tells Of Discrimination In Book

The culmination of assistant professor of sociology Joanne Ardovini’s graduate work will hit the bookstores on Oct. 15.

Using her own experiences as a graduate student at Western Michigan University, “It’s cold and lonely at the Middle: Discrimination Against Female Graduate Teaching Instructors,” further explores gender discrimination in universities by looking into the lives of female graduate teaching assistants.

Along with the use of anecdotes, she observed participating female assistants, took surveys and looked at journal entries to determine that discrimination does occur for female teaching assistants and that a chilly climate may be chillier, and more hostile, for them, since graduate teaching instructors do not have the status of a professor.
Ardovini also concludes that discrimination in all forms was not found in one particular program or department, but across the board.

“It fits into a plethora of programs, not just sociology, but education, psychology, counseling,” she said. “It covers challenging of knowledge, inequality, deviant behavior; so it’s not just a myopic focus on a sociological issue. The most common form of discrimination was challenging of knowledge and a complete devaluation.”

Ardovini’s book, which is being published by University Press of America, will be available in the campus bookstore and online at the publisher’s Web site for $29.

Art Students Help Beautify Main Street District

The SHSU art department has recently completed a project to beautify the downtown area through a new educational course designed to teach the process of designing art for public spaces.

The course, designed and taught by art professor Tony Shipp, required students to work with public officials in finding and designing an appropriate public artwork display.

Staff from Huntsville Main Street worked with the students and Shipp to finalize a suitable design for the project: new handrails for the 12th street side of the square. Located in a prominent area for pedestrians and vehicles, the handrails allowed the opportunity for interesting public art that was also functional.
“The students were really fortunate to have this opportunity,” Shipp said. “The city was great to work with, and I think the class learned a lot about the nuances of designing art for public spaces.”
Through in-class discussions, two designs for the new handrails were submitted to Main Street, which were then shown to business owners along the street who voted on their favorite. In the end, a design that represented trees with spring and fall foliage was chosen.

“The pieces are very organic,” said Shipp. “I think they go well with a tree theme that identifies Huntsville and makes us unique.”
Similar designs often cost thousands of dollars, according to Shipp, but for only the cost of the materials, downtown Huntsville gained truly unique works of art that will last a lifetime.

Kat Klub Games Up For Tournaments

The Kat Klub is gaming up to host several tournaments throughout the semester.

On Sept. 24, there will be a Table Tennis Tournament, beginning at 6 p.m. Students can sign up to participate in Kat Klub, located on the first floor of the Lowman Student Center.

A Video Arcade Tournament will be held on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m., and a Chess/Foosball Tournament will be held on Oct. 22, also at 6 p.m. There will also be another Table Tennis Tournament on Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. Sign-ups for all three will begin a week before the tournaments are held.

Trophies will be awarded to winning participants.

Send Update Items Here

Please send information for the SHSU Update to the Office of Public Relations at SHSU. For electronic access to SHSU news see the public relations Web page Today@Sam.

- END -

SHSU Media Contacts: Frank Krystyniak, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Sept. 21, 2003
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to

This page maintained by SHSU's Office of Public Relations
Director: Frank Krystyniak
Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
Located in the 115 Administration Building
Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834