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SHSU Update For Week Of Aug. 1


Trip To Eastern Europe Planned For Alumni, Friends

Travel with Sam Houston is offering alumni and friends the opportunity to visit Eastern Europe for 10 days and 8 nights beginning Nov. 5.

The trip, which includes visits to Budapest, Vienna and Prague, is being offered as a companion tour with the SHSU orchestra, which will be performing at various venues in the cities, as well as taking master’s classes.

“We will be hearing the orchestra perform. In Vienna, they are performing with a Sam Houston alumna who is famous all over Europe for her wonderful voice,” said Grettle Payne, coordinator of Travel with Sam Houston.

“They’re (the music department) picking these really wonderful venues (where orchestra is booked) in Vienna and Prague,” she said. “It’s not your usual tour.”

Tickets for the orchestra’s concerts are among the many things included in the price of the tour, which is $2,795 for the land and air package, or $2,295 for land only.

The cost also includes roundtrip airfare for the land/air package, lodging, most meals, Motorcoach transportation, performances, sightseeing, tips, taxes, a tour manager throughout, flight insurance and pre-departure trip cancellation protection.

“It’s a real solid value for the traveler, and yet it does give them some things that just aren’t available to other people,” Payne said. “The hotels that we’re going to are ones that don’t usually allow groups, because groups usually mean noise, so we’re getting into really nice hotels. I think it’s going to be real special.”

The tour, offered through Intropa Tours, is the first offered in Eastern Europe for Travel with Sam Houston.

Payne said there are many advantages to traveling with a tour like this one, such as smaller groups, expert guides, a customized tour where everything is planned out and access to popular museums is guaranteed, “tried and true” hotels and transportation, and “none of those unpleasant surprises where you waste your time and money and then don’t get what you thought you were going to get.

“You’re traveling with people who have a common interest, the common interest includes Sam Houston,” she said. “It is a way of supporting the school, by being involved in these trips. It’s like going to a football game, you’re supporting your alma mater.”

The application and deposit deadline is Aug. 31. Applications are available online at or may be obtained by calling the Travel with Sam Houston office at 936.294.4725 or 1.866.BEARKAT, extension 4725.


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Theatre Presents Three Plays July 31-Aug. 6

The department of theatre and dance will tell the story of two women who travel to Bosnia in order to help war refugees in “Necessary Targets,” one of three plays being performed in the Showcase Theatre this week.
Show times for “Necessary Targets” are 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (July 31-Aug. 1).

A play by Eve Ensler, “Necessary Targets” centers around J.S., a Fifth Avenue psychologist, and her partner, Melissa, an author ambitious to finish her book, who try to win the trust of five Bosnian women so the healing process can begin.

Junior Rachel Saunders and sophomore Amber Sortino play J.S. and Melissa, respectively, and Bosnia was created by senior Sarah Brune, sophomores Roxy Collingwood and Lacy Williams and juniors Ashley Flatt and Haruna Kajino.

The play, directed by senior Kandice Harris, contains mature content.

On Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 2-3), senior Kacie Starr will direct the SHSU production of Nicky Silver’s “The Food Chain,” with performances at 8 p.m. each day.

The comedy and drama focuses on Amanda, an anorexic poet of some pretensions, who has been married for three weeks, but her husband, Ford, has been missing for two.

Based on the true story of events following the Sept. 11 attacks, SHSU technical director Larry Routh and assistant professor of theatre Penelope Hasekoester star in the two-person play “The Guys,” on Thursday and Friday (Aug. 5-6).

Performances will be at 8 p.m. both days.

Directed by alumnus Patrick Pearson, “The Guys” centers around Joan, an editor who receives an unexpected phone call on behalf of Nick, a fire captain who has lost most of his men in the attack less than two weeks after Sept. 11.

Nick is looking for a writer to help him with the eulogies he must present at the memorial services.

As the two make their way through the emotional landscape of grief, they draw on humor, tango and the appreciation of craft in all its forms to create the verbal memorials for the fallen firefighter.

The play, written by Anne Nelson, takes a look at the ending bonds of friendship the unconquerable spirit of New York.

Tickets are $5 for each play. For more information, call 936.294.1329.


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Bech Named To NCAA All-Academic Team

Sam Houston State University track athlete Signe Bech has beennamed to an NCAA all-academic team by the United States Track Coaches Association.

Bech was one of 12 women in the NCAA's Division 1 who posted perfect 4.0 grade point averages. Five men were also mentioned for their academic achievements. No other Southland Conference school was represented on either list.

Bech competed last season as a junior in the pole vault and javelin.

A native of Denmark, she entered the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in June with the 13th best javelin throw of the year.


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RTV Program To Be Featured On Sunday EXTRA Aug. 1

The SHSU radio and television program will be featured on KTRK-TV (Channel 13) in Houston during Sunday EXTRA on Aug. 1.

The segment will focus on the opportunities SHSU students have not only in producing their own television shows but running both television and radio stations, according to senior RTV major Jason Plotkin, who is interning at KTRK this summer.

Maryjo Cochran, RTV professor, was also interviewed for the segment.

SHSU alumnus Mark Jones, a producer for KTRK, put the feature together with the assistance of Plotkin.
Sunday EXTRA, a news magazine show, runs at 7:30 a.m.


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Book On Terrorism Receives Raving Review

A book by Sam Houston State University doctoral graduate Sean Hill and Richard Ward, dean of the College of Criminal Justice, has received an unusual review in a counter-terrorism publication.

The book, "An International Compilation of Terrorist Organizations, Violent Political Groups, and Issue-Oriented Militant Movements" is actually the second edition of one published in the mid-1990s by Ward.

At 961 pages, it sells for $200 and is also available electronically as a Microsoft Word document, which makes it searchable by key word.

Reviewer Jack Plaxe of the "Journal of Counterterrorism & Home Security International" said that, although two years old, the book was reviewed because "there are few open reference books on terrorist groups that are as detailed and comprehensive as this single volume.

"Government intelligence and security specialists can use it as a source of public information that can be shared with non-cleared personnel," Plaxe wrote. "For those with responsibility for protecting facilities and personnel overseas, it provides baseline data for use in threat assessments.

"For students and professors, it provides background information on groups that can be used in classroom lectures and case studies. In short, this single volume can be a valuable reference source for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of terrorist groups."


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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.


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SHSU Media Contacts: Frank Krystyniak, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Aug. 1, 2004
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