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SHSU Update For Week Of Sept. 11


Congressman To Give Students Social Security Lesson

SHSU and U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands) will teach students the basics of social security with a forum specifically geared to younger workers and college students on Monday (Sept. 12), at 10 a.m. in the Smith-Hutson Building New Auditorium.

Since February, Brady has hosted over 25 community-wide Social Security workshops to answer constituents’ questions about Social Security’s financial outlook and proposals for fixing the cash-strapped program once and for all.

Last year, the non-partisan Social Security trustees estimated that in a little over 10 years, the Social Security trust fund would begin taking in less payroll tax revenue than it needs to pay retiree benefits.

About the time today’s 20-30-“somethings” retire in the year 2042, the trust fund will be empty and the program will have only annual payroll taxes to pay benefits.

Possible solutions currently proposed include personal savings accounts, comprehensive retirement reform, progressive indexing for Social Security benefits, various tax increases and adjustments to the retirement age.

This forum will also include a question and answer session.

For more information, call Brady’s office at 936.441.5700.


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Presentation To Honor Three Former Deans Sept. 14

The Dean of Students’ Office will host a presentation in tribute of three former SHSU deans on Wednesday (Sept. 14), at 3 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

Sidney Detlefsen, associate dean of Student Life from 1968-1980, William R. Powell, associate dean of Student Life from 1972-1987, and M.C. "Mac" Sutton, dean of Student Life from 1971-1988, will be honored for their services and contributions to the university and the office in which they worked.

A reception will follow the presentation, and all friends and colleagues are invited to attend.

Those who wish to attend should RSVP by Monday (Sept. 12) to 936.294.1784.


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OIP To Welcome International Students With Picnic

Faculty, staff and administrators are invited to welcome those who are attending SHSU from all over the world as the Office of International Programs will host its annual International Students’ Welcome Picnic on Sunday (Sept. 11).

The picnic will be held from 1-5 p.m. at Huntsville State Park’s Raven Lodge, at the end of the park entrance road.

“ The event is held to welcome new international students to the campus and introduce them to current international students,” said OIP coordinator of operations and international student adviser Donna Rogers. “President (James F.) Gaertner will attend to give a few words of welcome.”

The event will include such activities as volleyball, Frisbee golf, horseshoes, bicycling, nature walks, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, and a fajita buffet from El Chico will be provided. Equipment for the activities will be provided by the Department of Recreational Sports.

Those who wish to attend should tell the gate clerk that they are with the SHSU picnic to receive free admission.

The event is co-hosted, with food provided, by the Office of Multicultural and International Student Services.

The Huntsville State Park is located six miles southwest of Huntsville, off Interstate 45, on Park Road 40, from Exit 109.

For more information, or to RSVP, e-mail or call Dustin at 936.294.4734 or Tina at 936.294.3892.


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COBA To Honor Its Hart

The College of Business Administration will host a retirement reception for Sara Hart on Sept. 22, from 2-4 p.m. in Austin Hall.

Hart began her career at SHSU in 1965, teaching a niche course in office administration.

Witnessing COBA grow from a department with a few courses to the college it has become, Hart developed courses in the discipline, publishing her research in 40 journals, and serving as a consultant and presenter in over 48 workshops.

In addition, she has served both the university and community through various committee work, such as Sam Houston’s 200th Birthday Bicentennial Celebration committee, overseeing Martin Anisman’s inauguration and investiture receptions for Bobby K. Marks and James F. Gaertner, and supporting the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the historical Wynne Home restoration.

Special remarks will be made during the reception at 3 p.m.

For more information, call COBA at 936.294.1254.


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NGL To Send Faculty Through ‘Information Portal’

The Newton Gresham Library will take faculty and staff through the “Information Portal” on Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 13-14), from 2-4 p.m. both days in NGL Room 155.

The come-and-go, fair-type event will include tables with information on the different types of databases offered by the library and services offered, as well as librarian demonstrations of how to use certain databases.

“ Librarians will be showing Hyperion, where we have historical pictures and things on campus where they are in the database now, they’ve been catalogued and they will show how that works; Refworks, a new database, takes a student paper and can search references for the paper, shows how to do notations; and the virtual reference desk, where a student can be online with the library and ask a librarian to join them while they’re searching for references for their papers,” said Jackie Conrad, NGL business manager.

In addition, packets with information on copyright, services and prices for things such as the copy room will also be provided.

The event is open to all faculty and administrators.

“ We want the professors to come, so then they can share it with their students and advise their students to come to the library,” Conrad said.

“ In-flight snacks” will also be provided.

For more information, call 936.294.1630.


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Horticulture Student Wins Research Award

Sam Houston State senior agricultural sciences student William Patrick Spencer was recently selected as the winner of the 2005 Undergraduate Poster Presentation of the Year by the American Society of Horticultural Scientist.

The research conducted by Spencer, who was credited as lead author in his work with assistant professor of biology Justin Williams, concerned “A GIS Approach To Managing The Invasive Species Of Texas.”

He was selected out of approximately 100 undergraduates who submitted research at the convention, the biggest involving horticulture in the country, Williams said.

For the project, Spencer, who will receive a scholarship in a yet-to-be disclosed amount as award recipient, gathered information from distribution maps, museums and other literature about the invasive plants in Texas and put the data into digital form. Invasive plants are those that aren’t native to Texas but grow here anyway and sometimes become problems.

“ We created the only database for invasive plants in Texas,” Williams said.

Their work was also incorporated into a grant project Williams has been working on with associate professor of biology William Lutterschmidt, which involves the water quality of the Rio Grande, according to Williams.

“ We incorporated this project with that Rio Grande project as well because invasive plants are also one of the problems that is causing us to have lower water quality. We hired Patrick because he knows plants pretty well,” Williams said, adding that the Rio Grande project will continue for another two years and that Spencer will continue to work with them as long as he is attending SHSU.

In addition, the two will be working with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, as invasive plants, which can grow uncontrollably in areas, can also be harmful to the environment, as poisonous ones can kill animals, while others can lead to increased wildfires and create a lot of biomass, Williams said.

“ There are a lot of environmental issues concerning non-native plants,” he said.


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English Student Wins Fiction Writing Contest

A piece of English graduate student Kimberly McCullough’s family history has gained her recognition from the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers.

McCullough’s “Memories of My Aunt Eliza” was recently selected as the organization’s graduate student fiction award winner for 2005.

The story, written as part of her thesis, is based on her family's history and the history of Texas's first African-American township, according to Melissa Morphew, associate professor of English and McCullough’s thesis director.

“ I am allowed to nominate one piece in each category each year for a prize,” Morphew said. “Several of my students have won in the past against much larger, more prestigious schools. Kim took first place over a student from Southern Methodist University.”

Students from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas Christian and Texas Tech were also entered in the competition, she said.

McCullough and Morphew will travel to San Antonio at the end of September to attend the TACWT conference, where McCullough will read her prize-winning story and accept her prize of $100.


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‘Mystical’ Posters On Display At Education Center

Colorful posters from the 1890s will adorn the walls of the Katy & E.Don Walker, Sr., Education Center Gallery through Sept. 26.

" Mystics, Seers & Burlesque: Theatrical Posters of the Gay Nineties," an exhibit reflecting the age of the Vaudeville and Burlesque extravaganzas, features the famous names of the times: Alexander the Crystal Seer, Lily Langtry, Harry Houdini, the Great Kellar and a cast of hundreds.

The Walker Education Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Sunday, from noon to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact the Sam Houston Memorial Museum at 936.294.1832.


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PC To Throw Luau, Teach About Safety, Culture

The Program Council will throw a Hawaiian-style party and teach the importance of fire extinguisher safety, as well as give lessons on the Hispanic culture Tuesday through Thursday (Sept. 13-15).

On Tuesday, the Old Main Pit will be filled with Hawaiian music and food for the PC Hawaiian Luau, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Prizes will be given away and other themed activities are planned as students hula the night away.

On Wednesday, the Lowman Student Center Mall Area will be ablaze for the PC Fire Extinguisher Safety Course at noon.

“ We’re going to have mock fire where students can actually practice putting it out with the fire extinguisher,” said PC president Catie Duhon. “We’re going to have firemen here as well.”

Duhon said the event will teach students the proper use of a fire extinguisher for safety, as well as what to do when fire happens.

Finally, on Thursday, a month of events to educate students on the Hispanic culture will kick off with a rally at noon in the LSC Mall area.

Events planned for Hispanic Heritage Month include PC Movie Night, featuring “Spanglish,” on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. in the LSC Theater; Buenos Dias Beargatos, a breakfast program, on Sept. 20 at 9 a.m. in the LSC Mall Area; the 2005 Bearkat Hot Sauce Competition, on Sept. 28, at 6 p.m. in the LSC Ballroom; and Café de Latin America, which will be held from Sept. 29 through Oct. 7 through the Houstonian.

Also planned for the month is a week of “Remembering Selena: Queen of Tejano Music” from Oct. 10-14, which will include a Selena trivia game on Oct. 10, at 12:30 p.m. in the LSC Mall Area, and another PC Movie Night, featuring “Selena,” on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in the LSC Theater.

For more information on any of these events, call the Program Council at 936.294.1763.


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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
Sept. 11, 2005
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