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SHSU Update For Week Of Aug. 12


Gaertner To Address State Of Campus On Aug. 22

Jim Gaertner, Sam Houston State University president, will recognize service and award recipients and give his annual state-of-the-campus message Aug. 22.

The campus-wide meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Beto Criminal Justice Center's Killinger Auditorium.

In addition to his message about the university, Gaertner will recognize staff excellence award recipients and service award recipients in five-year increments beginning at 20 years.


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Convocation To Welcome Freshmen Aug. 18

As many as 600 incoming freshmen are anticipated to receive their official welcome to Sam Houston State University on Saturday (Aug. 18) during the First Year Experience’s third annual New Student Convocation.

The ceremony, for students and their families, will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

“The New Student Convocation is a celebration that welcomes new students to campus with just the right balance of formality and entertainment,” said Keri Rogers, director for the First Year Experience. “It’s our opportunity to help them get started on the right foot for college.”

Ben Welch, a motivational speaker and clinical associate professor in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, will encourage students to make the most of their college experience during his keynote address, "Ten Proven Keys to Success."

The ceremony, which will last approximately an hour, has a graduation-like atmosphere, with faculty, staff and administration members dressed in caps and gowns and the traditional processions, but students and their families are not required to dress up for the event, according to Rogers.

Before the ceremony, a step show will be held in the Coliseum. Afterward, a dinner will be held on the Coliseum grounds, followed by an after party at 7:30 p.m. at the Health and Kinesiology Center.

Students should bring their Sam ID cards in order to participate in the activities.

In addition, shuttles will be available to and from Sam Houston Village and King Hall.

For more information, contact Rogers at or visit the First Year Experience Web site at


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NSF Program Officer To Give Funding Tips

Jerry Cook, a program director at the National Science Foundation, will share his secrets on obtaining funding from the NSF with SHSU faculty members on Aug. 23.

“Tips for Obtaining Funding from the NSF” will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 320.

Cook, an associate professor in SHSU’s department of biological sciences, has received approximately $2 million in funding from grants and contracts and published over 40 peer-reviewed papers in the last 10 years.

He received his doctorate from Texas A&M University in 1996 and is currently serving as the program director for systematics and biological inventories for the National Science Foundation while on leave from SHSU.

In this position, one of his primary duties is overseeing part of NSF’s grants program.

The lecture is sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ women’s caucus.


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College To Host Teaching Conference

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences will give SHSU professors from across campus a forum in which they can discuss teaching-related issues with their peers during its third annual CHSS Teaching Conference on Aug. 16.

“Teaching is one of the most important functions of a professor,” said CHSS dean John de Castro. “Through teaching, we build tomorrow’s leaders and shape the future of our disciplines and the world.”

The conference will begin at 12:15 p.m. in Academic Building IV’s Olson Auditorium with a greeting by De Castro, followed by a keynote presentation by Maria Yon from the University of North Carolina Charlotte, who will discuss “Making the Case for Peer Review of Teaching.”

The event will be comprised of three different one-hour sessions, during which attendees can select from nine different presentations on topics such as Library Resources, Technology and the Classroom, New Common Reader Program, Academic Integrity, Developing On-line Courses, and Writing in the Disciplines.

Afterward, there will be a reception beginning at 5:15 p.m. in the Student Advising and Mentoring Center, where refreshments will be served and door prizes will be awarded.

Professors can register online at There is no sign-up deadline, but seating is limited.


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Planetarium To Show Last ‘Colors Of Summer’

The physics department will give the public a final glimpse of the “Colors of Summer” with its last planetarium program for the summer on Tuesday (Aug. 14).

The series, which shows attendees which constellations, stars and planets they can expect to see in the upcoming weeks, will be held at 3 p.m. in the Planetarium, located in Farrington Building Room F102.

The program will include a “tour of what’s currently up in the summer night sky with ‘The Colors of Summer,’” as well as the summer feature, ‘Ring World,’ “a fantastic journey to perhaps the most beloved planet in the solar system: Saturn, the true Lord of the Rings” specifically formatted for viewing on a dome-shaped screen, according to Michael Prokosch, staff aide for the physics department.

The show will last approximately one hour. The Planetarium, which seats up to 29 visitors, includes a dome that is approximately 18 feet in diameter and more than 20 feet high in the center, Prokosch said.

Admission is free, and one-day visitor parking passes for off-campus attendees are available at the Visitor Center.

For more information on current show times for the Planetarium or the Observatory, call 936.294.3664.


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Miller Named Association Fellow

Rowland Miller

Rowland Miller, professor of psychology, has been elected as a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.

Miller has been a member of the Sam Houston State University faculty since 1978 and member of the Association for Psychological Science since it was created in 1988.

"Each year about one-half of one percent of APS's 18,000 members are accorded this recognition, so it's an honor I'm very pleased to receive," Miller said.

According to the association's Web site, fellow status is awarded to APS members who have made sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology in the areas of research, teaching, service, and/or application.

Miller said he was especially pleased because of the nomination process, which requires that his name be submitted by two outstanding contributors to scientific psychology familiar with the nominee's work, one of whom must be an APS fellow.

Miller is best known for his research on embarrassment, and is one of the world's experts on this social emotion. He wrote a book on that subject in 1996 entitled "Embarrassment: Poise and Peril in Everyday Life."

More recently his research has been on relationship maintenance—the things people do that help them stay satisfied and content in lasting partnerships. He is also co-author of a popular textbook, "Intimate Relationships."


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Psychology Adviser Gets Recertified

Thomas Wood, adviser for the school psychology master's program in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, has received recertification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist.

"The certification process involves documentation of high levels of training and applied knowledge in school psychology along with a passing score on the national exam, developed by the Educational Testing Service," said Sawyer Hunley, who chairs the national certification board.

The exam is the same one taken for licensing in the state of Texas, which was passed by all nine of the department's school psychology spring 2007 graduates.

The SHSU program attracts students from all over the country, has a high retention rate and has a nearly perfect passing rate on the national exam since the inception of the program. In addition, the program is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists, the highest accreditation in the nation available to pre-doctoral training programs.

School psychologists are knowledgeable in areas such as child/adolescent development, learning theories, psycho-educational assessment, personality theories, therapeutic interventions, and identifying learning disabilities.

Wood has been at Sam Houston State for six years and was initially certified in the national program when it began in 1989.


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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. 10, 2007
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to

This page maintained by SHSU's Office of Public Relations
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Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834