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SHSU Update For Week Of Dec. 10


Alumnus Named Contracts, Grants Director

Mike Chavarria
Alumnus Mike Chavarria began work as director for Contracts and Grants on Nov. 27.

For SHSU alumnus Mike Chavarria, the opportunity to come back and work for his alma mater was “exciting.”

Chavarria, who was named director for Contracts and Grants, said he is “ecstatic” about taking over the position, which was vacant for over a year and a half, on Nov. 27.

“The driving force was school pride; I went to school here, so the opportunity to come back to serve the campus and the faculty really appealed to me,” he said.

As director for the office, Chavarria essentially serves as the liaison between the SHSU faculty member and the agency from which he/she receives a grant, handling the accounting side for research projects, he said.

A Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Research Administrator, which is a new designation being offered to people in research administration, Chavarria has done this kind of work for the past 15 years.

Previously, he worked at various positions for the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, where he was the regional research administration liaison for five years immediately before coming to SHSU; the University of Texas at Austin, where he became manager of contracts and grants; and for the Employees Retirement System as an auditor.

He received his Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting from SHSU in 1988.


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December Dance Graduates To Reach ‘The Final Stretch’

Student choreographers will present their own dances during the Fall Senior Studio on Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec. 12-13) at 7:30 p.m. in the Academic Building III Dance Theater.

“The Final Stretch: A Senior Showcase,” will feature works by December graduating seniors Rebecca Arana, Jessica Brewer, Marissa Marquardson, Jessalyn Pratka and Meredith Wetmore.

Other student works, consisting of both Spring 2007 graduating seniors as well as junior dance students, will also be presented during the event.

The student-produced concert is the culmination of the five semester choreography series at SHSU, according to assistant professor of dance Melissa Wynn, who directs the senior studio choreography class.

“In their prerequisite choreography courses, these dance majors extensively studied the skill and craft of creating dances,” Wynn said. “In this senior level course the students now have the opportunity to not only realize their own choreographic visions, but also the chance to see their work fully produced with lighting, sets, costumes, other dancers, and any other ideas they would like to see incorporated into their work.”

The class operates as a group, organizing all aspects of the production, ranging from auditioning dancers, developing and teaching the dance, to designing programs and publicity materials, organizing photo shoots, working with lighting design and running backstage crew.

The strongest dances in the concert will be under consideration by the dance faculty to be taken to the Southeast Regional American College Dance Festival.

Selected choreography will travel to Texas Christian University in the spring and will be presented among the other “best dances” of universities from throughout the region, Wynn said.

Tickets are $5, and each evening will include different works.

Seating is limited, and reservations can be made by calling the Dance Box Office at 936.294.3988.


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Hall ‘Reinvents Peabody Sisters’ In New Book

book cover

The first book to examine the literary works of three “remarkable” sisters and co-edited by SHSU associate professor of English Julie Hall was recently published by the University of Iowa Press.

“Reinventing the Peabody Sisters,” a collection of essays about the writings of the three women, is available online for $39.95 at, and through the University of Iowa Press Web site.

The 294-page book is comprised of 15 essays written by Hall, her co-editors Monika Elbert from Montclair State University and Katharine Rodier from Marshall University, and 12 other authors, including a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

“All three of the sisters in this family were remarkable,” Hall said. “They were at the center of 19th Century culture of that day.”

The three sisters include Elizabeth, the “most prolific” and well-known writer who also wrote the most; Mary, who wrote a three-volume biography of her husband, Horace Mann, after his death and co-authored books with Elizabeth; and Sophia, who published one book, edited all of her husband Nathaniel Hawthorne’s notebooks after his death and was also a life-long writer of letters and journals that serve as “an amazing archival record from her days,” Hall said.

While there have been biographies of the sisters’ lives, including one that became a Pulitzer Prize finalist, “there has been no collection that focuses on their literary work or no collection that brings together scholarly assessments of their work” until now, she said.

“Through engaging, wide-ranging essays, ‘Reinventing the Peabody Sisters’ analyzes the dynamic familial and intellectual nexus of three women who continuously reinvented themselves,” said Patricia Dunlavy Valenti, author of “Sophia Peabody Hawthorne: A Life,” in a review. “This book provides marvelous insights into the origins and the impact of mid-19th Century American art, philosophy, literature, education, and reform movements—a must-read for the student of these disciplines.”


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Fall Semester Wraps Up

As the fall semester winds down, students and faculty are preparing for final examinations and a holiday break.

Finals will be held from Monday (Dec. 11) through Thursday (Dec. 14), from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. A complete exam schedule can be found at

Residence halls will close at noon on Friday (Dec. 15), with commencement ceremonies being held on Saturday (Dec. 16) at 10 a.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Criminal Justice and Humanities and Social Sciences and at 2 p.m. for the Colleges of Education and Business Administration.

Staff members will receive a week-long break as the university will close in recognition of Christmas and New Year’s Day from Dec. 25-29 and on Jan. 1.

Residence halls will reopen on Jan. 7 at 11 a.m. for the spring semester, which will officially begin on Jan. 10, the first class day.

Spring registration will be open Jan. 8-9 and late registration will be held Jan. 10.


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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
Dec. 10, 2006
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This page maintained by SHSU's Office of Public Relations
Director: Frank Krystyniak
Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834