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SHSU Update For Week Of Jan. 7


Theatre Makes Another ‘Grand’ Statement

“Grand Canyon,” the SHSU theatre department’s entry in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, will participate in the week-long Region VI festival Feb. 28 through March 4 after advancing from the video-tape round of the state festival.

The play was one of seven plays from colleges in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico chosen to travel to Tulsa, Okla., for the regional competition, and if it advances out of the regional festival, it may be invited to perform at the Kennedy Center this spring.

Among the accolades “Grand Canyon” received was the KCACTF David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award, awarded to only two regional finalists, according to theatre manager Kandice Harris.

As part of the award, the winning playwright, senior theatre major Scott McCarrey, will receive $1,000, membership in the Dramatists Guild, an invitation to present a staged reading of the play at the National Association of Theater in Higher Education conference in August and may have his play published by Dramatic Publishing Company.

“Grand Canyon” was workshopped as part of the SHSU theatre department’s Summer Repertory Theatre offerings in the summer 2006 and became a full-scale production performed in the Showcase Theatre on August 24-26.

The play received numerous awards in October when performed at the KCACTF’s Region IV Texas I Festival at San Jacinto College South in Houston, including the “Director’s Choice,” “Excellence in Supporting Original Works,” and excellence in directing, playwriting, costume design, set and light design and make-up design awards.

The video-tape round is judged by KCACTF regional chairs and vice chairs, Harris said. Before the play can advance to the Kennedy Center, it must be selected to the video-tape round of the Region VI festival.


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Support Group To Be Offered For Disabled Students

The SHSU Services for Students with Disabilities is seeking interested students to participate in a support group during the spring semester for those with any and all types of disabilities.

Kelley Osborn, Disability Services Coordinator and licensed professional counselor, will serve as group facilitator.

“The purpose of the group will be to provide students with a confidential and supportive environment in which to explore the unique challenges of living with a disability,” said Osborn, who himself lives with a disability in the form of a visual disorder that causes blind spots in his central vision.

“Many students who have participated in such groups have described the experience as both reassuring and empowering,” he said.

Some of the issues that will be addressed during the support group include what it means to have a disability; how disabilities impact social relationships, schoolwork and job prospects; how the experiences of other students with disabilities differ or are similar; skills for coping with disabilities; and how to be a better advocate oneself.

The group is tentatively scheduled to begin meeting in February and will meet on a weekly basis for approximately one hour.

The day, time and location of meetings will depend on the numbers of interested students and their schedules.

For more information, call Osborn at 936.294.1720.


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Geography Prof’s Research Gets Attention

Donald Albert, associate professor in geography at Sam Houston State University, was looking at ways to a healthier lifestyle about five years ago and as a result has become a celebrity of sorts with those who espouse naturopathic medicine.

"It's getting a whole lot of attention," Albert said of his research on geographic aspects of the field. "I can't believe it."

Albert was contacted recently by Jacob Schor, a practicing Denver naturopathic physician who is using several of Albert's 10 publications in an effort to convince the Colorado Legislature that the licensing of naturopathic physicians should be approved there.

Another key state in the effort to increase licensing, and thus the field's credibility, is New York.

Albert's figures show that about 20 jurisdictions in the U. S. and Canada now license naturopathic physicians, and in five years (2001-2006) the numbers of such practitioners have increased from 2,100 to more than 4,000.

He said his research indicates that there are more naturopathic physicians in New York and Colorado than any other states, which do not have licensing.

"To me that means there is an unmet need in those states," he said.

Albert also received a recent phone call from William J. Keppler, president of the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Ore.

Albert said Keppler was amazed that a geographer was interested in naturopathic issues and offered his support for future research.

He is currently using traditional as well as natural medical remedies for his personal needs but believes that naturopathic medicine is a field that should not be ignored.


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Professor Receives Kaplan Award

Brian Herrington, a composer and music theory professor in the School of Music, was recently awarded the Leo Kaplan Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Herrington received the award during the group’s 7th Annual Concert Music Awards held at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater in New York City, he said.

“It's the highest award given to an American composer under the age of 30,” Herrington said.

He was selected from more than 550 entries to receive the Morton Gould Young Composer Award, and from those approximately 30 recipients, his was judged to be the top score.

As the Leo Kaplan Award winner, he earned a $2,500 cash prize, a plaque, a medal and an upgraded version of composition software for his computer.

Established in 1979, the ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Awards program grants cash prizes to young concert music composers up to 30 years of age whose works are selected through a juried national competition.

The award-winning composers share prizes of approximately $40,000, including the Leo Kaplan Award, according to the ASCAP Web site.


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Marine Corp Band Features Professor’s Work

The United States Marine Band recently presented the work of an SHSU music professor.

Henry Howey’s adaptation for modern band of Amilcare Ponchielli's “Variazioni Sopra Carnevale Di Venezi” will be performed by the band on Sunday (Jan. 7) at George Mason University, located in suburban Washington, D.C.

“One of the pieces associated with my research will receive its first documented performance since 1872 (in the Piazza Cavour—today Piazza Stradivari—in Ponchielli's hometown of Cremona, Italy),” Howey said.

The Jan. 7 concert will have one major change in its presentation, as Lt. Col. Michael Colburn, leader of the United States Marine Band, will not perform the solo part for the bells that Ponchielli himself played from a keyboard, according to Howey.

“Ponchielli was an organist and played a set of bells attached to a keyboard in the performance,” he said. “If the score and first performance dates can be believed, Ponchielli's soloists had less than two weeks to prepare their parts whose difficulty exceeds any others for this favorite Neapolitan song of the 19th century.”

The bulk of the concert will feature works by John Philip Sousa, whose earliest musical influences were shaped by the many Italian members of the Marine Band when Sousa was an apprentice musician.


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Student Earns Spot On National Committee

The president of SHSU’s student chapter of the Student Council for Exceptional Children was recently named to the Council for Exceptional Children’s Student Standing Committee.

James Williams was appointed to the competitively-awarded position for the national organization for a two-year term, from Jan. 1, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2008.

Williams was selected from many college students from around the country to represent his fellow students and colleagues in the education profession on a national level.

His goals for his term are to fully represent his profession and those with disabilities, as he, himself, has a high functioning autistic disorder called Asperger's Syndrome, as well as promote Sam Houston State University and its programs on a national level, Williams said.

The goal of the CEC Student Standing Committee is to recommend individuals who will, when part of the group, provide diversity as well as balance with respect to demographic representation, undergraduate and graduate student representation.

It also provides volunteer and professional experiences with CEC and other organizations that serve individuals with disabilities, leadership abilities, and those who have a strong vision for their role on the committee and how the committee can better serve CEC student members now and in the future, according to student standing committee chair Cynthia Chambers, from the University of Kansas.

For more information on the council, visit


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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
Jan. 7, 2007
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Director: Frank Krystyniak
Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834