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SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 29


Departments Offer Bus Rides For SFA Game

The SHSU Alumni Association and the Office of Student Activities are hoping to fill Stephen F. Austin’s Homer Bryce Stadium with Bearkat fans for the annual Battle of the Piney Woods football game on Saturday (Nov. 4) by giving fans a ride to the game, according to Charlie Vienne, interim director for Alumni Relations.

The Alumni Association’s chartered bus will depart from the Bowers Stadium Parking Lot on Saturday at 2 p.m. for the 6 p.m. game in Nacogdoches.

In addition, the association, in conjunction with the Student Activities Office, will host a pre-game tailgate party in the large parking lot on the SFA campus, on the corner of East College and University.

The cost to ride the bus is $20 per passenger, and the bus will return to Huntsville immediately following the game.

Packages, including the cost for tailgating, which is $10 per person, and game tickets, which are $10 each, are available through

In addition, the Office of Student Activities has chartered two busses that will accommodate 100 students.
Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis by signing up in the Student Activities Office, in Lowman Student Center Suite 328, for $5, which will include a T-shirt, the football ticket and food at the tailgate party.

Those busses will also leave at 2 p.m. from Bowers Stadium, according to Brandon Cooper, Student Activities program coordinator.

The bus reservation deadline for the Alumni Association’s bus is Wednesday (Nov. 1) and Friday (Nov. 3) for the two busses being chartered by Student Activities.

For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 936.294.1841 or the Office of Student Activities at 936.294.3861.


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‘New York Times’ Bureau Chief To Talk Texas Politics

Ralph Blumenthal
Houston "New York Times" bureau chief Ralph Blumenthal

Ralph Blumenthal, Houston bureau chief for “The New York Times,” will discuss "Blood Sport: Texas Politics and the Governor's Race as seen by The New York Times" on Thursday (Nov. 2).

The discussion, sponsored by the Student Government Association, the American Democracy Project, The New York Times Knowledge Network, and the Collegiate Readership Program, will be held at 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

“The purpose of the event is two-fold,” said SGA president Christopher Whitaker. “One is to increase student awareness of the issues in this election, and the second is to give students an opportunity to discuss politics in Texas.

“We hope this will give students a more informed vote and increase interest in voting,” he said.

A prize-winning reporter who has covered many of the leading stories of the last generation, Blumenthal has reported overseas from former West Germany, South Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan, Brazil and the Caribbean, and at home from Washington, New York and many other cities around the nation.

He headed the reporting team covering the World Trade Center terrorist attack in 1993, coverage that won “The Times” a Pulitzer Prize in 1994.

In addition, Blumenthal co-authored a series of articles in 1994 on the fatal crashes of US Air, which prompted new safety procedures, that was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Worth Bingham prize for investigative reporting.

After Sept. 11, 2001, he briefly rejoined the investigative team covering terrorism.

Blumenthal has also authored and co-authored several books, the first of which won critical acclaim.
Joining the “New York Times” as a news clerk in 1964, Blumenthal became Houston bureau chief for the paper in September 2003.

He is a 1963 graduate of City College of New York, and he received his master's degree in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1964.

In 2001, he was awarded both the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Alumni Award and Guggenheim Fellowship.

Blumenthal is scheduled to speak for approximately 30 minutes and then field questions for another 30 minutes.

For more information, call the SGA at 936.294.1938 or visit


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Author To Discuss ‘Passionate’ Book

Noted author James L. Haley will discuss his recently-released book detailing a comprehensive history of Texas on Friday (Nov. 3) at 7:30 p.m. at the Katy and E. Don Walker, Sr., Education Center.

He will also sign copies of the book, “Passionate Nation: The Epic History of Texas,” which will also be available for sale, following his presentation.

The 650-page book spans more than 400 years of Texas, from Cabeza de Vaca to George W. Bush.

An Austin resident, Haley grew up near Fort Worth and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in political science.

He later resigned from the University of Texas in Austin Law School to concentrate on his literary career.
The award-winning author of the 2002 biography of Gen. Sam Houston, Haley is also the author of such books as “Texas: An Album of History,” “The Buffalo War: The History of the Red River Indian Uprising of 1874” and “Texas: From Frontier to Spindletop.”

“Sam Houston,” the largest and most complete biography ever written about the legendary American icon and Texas hero, has won nine awards, including the Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize, given by the Texas State Historical Association for the best book on Texas in 2002, and the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America.

The Walker Education Center is located at 1402 19th St. in Huntsville.

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


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President's Office To Sponsor Halloween Carnival

The President's Office will take faculty, staff, students and their families on a hayride and through a haunted house during the 4th annual President's Halloween Carnival on Tuesday (Oct. 31).

Activities are scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Gibbs Ranch and include apple bobbing, Halloween twister, pumpkin bingo, prize in the haystack, monster bean bag and tombstone bowling, among others.

In addition, there will be food, prizes, candy and a Costume Parade.

The event is free for university employees, students and their families.

Gibbs Ranch is located off of Highway 75 north. From Highway 45 North, take Exit 118 to Highway 75 North, and the ranch is approximately two miles on the left.

In case of rain, the event will be held in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

For more information, questions call 936.294.3415 or to RSVP, which is not mandatory, call 936.294.2415 or e-mail


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Council Gathers Staff For Fall Social

The SHSU Staff Council will give university employees the opportunity to voice concerns on any campus-related issues and a free lunch during its “Fall Staff Social” on Tuesday (Oct. 31).

The ARAMARK-catered, come-and-go luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

“It’s an opportunity for SHSU staff members to meet their Staff Council representatives and come together to visit with each other in an informal setting,” said Julia May, Staff Council communications chair.

The SHSU Staff Council is as an advisory body that conveys information and makes recommendations to the president regarding interest and concerns of the university staff.

The organization hosts two socials a year, including the spring ice cream social.


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Archivist Seeks Info On Old Dorm’s Namesake

One of the Sam Houston State University dorms built in 1961 that was torn down to make space for the new Raven Village facility was named in honor of Charles Gidley.

But who was Charles Gidley?

Barbara Kievit-Mason, SHSU archivist, needs help from anyone who may have information about Gidley.
"Charles Gidley, so it seems, is a mystery man," Mason said. "I can find no record of him here in the archives and all the folks I have talked to know nothing of him.

“I have listened to various theories that he was a librarian, music professor, etc., but none of these have panned out," she said.

Anyone with information about Charles Gidley may contact Kievit-Mason at 936.294.3699 or by e-mail at


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Spring Registration Begins Nov. 3

Registration for the Spring 2007 semester will begin Friday (Nov. 3) and will be held through Nov. 30 for students of various classifications.

Honors students may register beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, followed by doctoral, graduate, post-bach and seniors on Nov. 6; juniors on Nov. 7; sophomores on Nov. 8; and freshman on Nov. 9.

Open registration will be held Nov. 10-30. Registration will close at 4 p.m. on Nov. 30.

During this time, students who need to be advised still may do so by contacting the Student Advising and Mentoring Center, located in Academic Building IV Room 210, at 936.294.4444.

Appointments can be made with advisers between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each school day. Walk-ins will be accepted, but the waiting period will probably be longer during registration, according to university registrar Teresa Ringo.

The SAM Center will also make appointments for times between 5-6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Students may also look for the location of advising for a particular major at

Students subject to mandatory advisement must be advised before they can register.


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Firefest To Add Some Heat To Rivalry Game Week

The Office of Student Activities will ‘fire’ students up for the Battle of the Piney Woods with its annual spirit rally on Wednesday (Nov. 1).

The pep rally will be held at 8 p.m. at Intramural Field No. 3.

The event will include free food and T-shirt giveaways, according to student assistant Jeremy McGilbery.
In addition, activities planned include bungee run, boxing, bull riding, joust, wax hands, a firewalker and fire twirler, a bonfire and fireworks.

For more information, call 936.294.3861.


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Orchestra, Brass Quintet To Feature Students, Faculty

The SHSU Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Players will present "Music for String Instruments from the Masters” on Tuesday (Oct. 31) at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

The concert will be performed in five parts by a variety of musicians, including undergraduate and graduate students, School of Music faculty members and guest performers.

The SHSU Chamber Singers and Chamber Orchestra will perform a piece by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the conductor’s birth; the chamber orchestra will perform several works, including Jay Ungar’s “Ashokan Farewell;” the symphony strings and string chamber ensembles will perform a number of compositions, including a Robert Schumann piano quintet; and the recital will conclude with a chamber work performed by SHSU string faculty playing Gioacchino Antonio Rossini’s “Duetto fur Violoncello and Contrabass,” according to conductor Carol Smith.

The SHSU Chamber Orchestra is comprised of freshmen and sophomore string performers, with sophomore performers serving as principal players in the ensemble.

The SHSU Chamber Players is a set of chamber music groups comprised of junior, senior and graduate level string performers who will be continuing to prepare, rehearse and performance chamber music literature from the major chamber music repertoire archives.

Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and non-SHSU students and free for SHSU students, faculty and staff members with an identification card.

The SHSU Faculty Brass Quintet will also pay homage to two composers who have died this year during its recital on Wednesday (Nov. 1).

The 45- to 50-minute concert, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall, will include works by Samuel Scheidt, Morley Calvert, Jan Koetsier and Sir Malcolm Arnold.

Among the pieces that will be performed include works by Arnold and Koetsier, as a memorial to the composers, who both died this year, according to Randal Adams, brass area coordinator and assistant professor of trumpet.

“The Arnold—arranged by our very own Dr. Henry Howey—is an excellent representation of the British Brass Band tradition,” he said. “Koetsier's work is an energetic and light-hearted suite with dance and jazz influence throughout along with extremely technical brass playing.

“The Calvert ends with a reference to a popular French Christmas carol to get everyone in the holiday spirit,” he said.

Admission is free, and the concert is open to the public.

For more information, call the School of Music at 936.294.1360.


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Percussion To Drum Up Three Performances

The SHSU Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band will kick off a week of percussion performances with some “global rhythms” on Thursday (Nov. 2).

The concert, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall, will be the steel band’s premier performance, according to John Lane, assistant professor of percussion.

The SHSU Steel Band will perform traditional Caribbean music, arrangements of popular music and original compositions for steel drums,” Lane said.

“The SHSU Percussion Ensemble will present arrangements of Marimba music from South America and other world music offerings including a piece for Ghanaian Bells,” he said.

Guest musician Gary France, an Australian percussionist and professor of percussion at the Australian National University, will also play with the ensemble and will also perform a solo piece, Steve Reich's "Video Phase."

On Friday, France will present a masterclass, a lecture/performance, from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

“This will consist of him performing a few pieces and taking questions and answers. He will also discuss his work with an interactive Internet-based performing/education program called the ALIVE project,” Lane said.

Finally, on Monday (Nov. 6), the world-renowned percussionists the Percussion Group Cincinnati will present another masterclass and performance from 2-4 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

All of the concerts and masterclasses will be free and open to the public.

For more information, call the School of Music at 936.294.1360.


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Organization To Masquerade As Literary Characters

Sigma Tau Delta, SHSU’s international English honor society, will host its second annual Literary Masquerade on Monday (Oct. 30).

The event will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Old Main Pit.

Attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite literary character of any genre, for fun, games, prizes and refreshments, said Allison Newton, Sigma Tau Delta’s public relations director.

Prizes will be awarded for the most creative, the most obscure and for the most recognizable costumes, and winners will receive two tickets to the Texas Renaissance Fair.

“We will be having games with prizes as well, including pumpkin painting, a literary couple match-up, and Pin the Tail on Bottom, a character from Shakespeare's ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream,’” Newton said.

The event is open to the public.

For more information, contact Newton at or visit the organization’s Web site at


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Exhibit To Feature ‘Sedimentation’

sedimentation card

The work of two contemporary artists will be on display in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery through Nov. 30.
“Sedimentation,” which features works by Jesse Billimack and Maris Grosbahs, includes a “conversation on water rights” and “a personal narrative on human identity,” according to art assistant professor Brian Benfer.

Billimack’s artwork, rammed earth and dirt replicas of Lake Livingston and part of the Trinity River, is “about our shared landscape in all of its complexity and dimensions,” the artist said.

The “miniature version” of the bodies will span the entire length of the gallery floor and will sit with the appropriate orientation, meaning north will be the north part of the piece.

The semi-permanent work will be site-specific for Huntsville, meaning Billimack selects bodies that are found in areas where he is exhibiting, collects soil from the area to create the piece, and then destroys the project after the exhibit, Benfer said.

He uses aerial perspectives in his works to evaluate spatial relationships within landscape, as well as details of site and place, said Billimack, who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona and his master’s degree from Rutgers University.

“He is an eco-conscious artist dealing with environmental issues/problems and works from aerial photographs,” Benfer said.

Grosbahs’ work is more about trying to understand and educate himself and the viewer through his findings, he said.

The pieces he will exhibit will include a wall piece “that looks like pieces of skin hanging on a coat rack,” a series of photographs put together to make one large image, and a sound piece using large speakers, Benfer said.

“Above all else, it is more about leaving a mark that I exist: I was here. I was hungry. I was poor. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful,” Grosbahs said. “I had an idea, and I had a purpose, and that is why I am making my work.”

Grosbahs received his bachelor’s degree from the Art Academy of Latvia and his master’s degree from San Jose State University.

A reception will be held on Thursday (Nov. 2), from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery, located in Art Building F, is open Monday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Brian Benfer at 936.294.1317 or


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Students To Show Off Their ‘Pieces of Paper’

Paper art for SOFA exhibit

“Pieces of Paper,” an exhibit works of art created on paper by SHSU art students, will be on display from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 in the Student Organization of Fine Art Gallery.

Curated by students enrolled in the art department’s museum and gallery practices class, the student curators selected the works in the exhibit from slides and digital images submitted by SHSU artists and organized the exhibit around a theme.

The exhibit includes works on paper created using a variety of techniques, including works by two photographers who used alternative processes in their work.

Mario Balderas will exhibit Polaroid transfers of images taken on travels abroad, and Robin Steinmetz creates cyanotypes—a photographic process that creates a blue image—of plant forms, according to assistant professor of computer animation Michael Henderson.

Pen and ink drawings will be exhibited by Jamie Berry, abstract watercolors by Jessica Roberts, and a charcoal drawing of an ethereal landscape by Nathan Sapio.

Berry will also exhibit lithographic images that are similar in style to her figurative pen and ink drawings; Amanda Sparks will show lithographs that are abstract; and Sam Masterson and Katy Scherler will show drawings in mixed mediums and have narrative subject matter.

“This exhibit of works in a variety of styles and mediums shows the diversity of the SHSU art students and versatility of paper as a surface for making art,” Henderson said.

The museum and gallery practices class is designed to teach students to organize exhibits and learn the operations of museums and galleries, Henderson said.

In addition to this exhibit, the class is organizing an exhibit at the Commerce Street Art Warehouse in Houston as part of the annual Houston Art Crawl on November 18 and also will visit several museums and galleries in Houston, Austin and Dallas.

A reception will be held for the artists and curators on Thursday (Nov. 3) from 5-7 p.m. at the SOFA gallery.
The SOFA gallery, located in Art Building A, is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Henderson at 936.294.1318 or


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Pool is Open, Heathers Working

The pool at the Health & Kinesiology Addition is a comfortable 80-82 degrees, thanks to repairs made to the pool's heater, according to Kevin McKinney, the facility's manager.

For pool hours and other information see the Recreational Sports page.



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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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- END -

SHSU Media Contacts: Frank Krystyniak, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Oct. 29, 2006
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