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SHSU Update For Week Of Jan. 27


SHSU To Celebrate Mardi Gras Cajun Style

The Sam Houston State and Huntsville communities will have the opportunity to celebrate Mardi Gras the Cajun way with the university’s sixth annual festival on Thursday (Jan. 31).

The event, which kicks off at 8:30 p.m. in the Lee Drain Building Atrium, will feature the Cajun music band Jambalaya with guest artist D.L. Menard, both of whom have been playing at the event since its inception, according to associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Terry Thibodeaux.

“He’s (Menard is) an old-time Cajun musician and is one of the most famous Cajun musicians still living today,” Thibodeaux said. “The core of the band has been together for over 20 years. They’re led by Terry Huval and he plays several instruments.”

“Basically, you can dance to any Cajun song with either a two-step, which is slightly different from a Texas two-step, or a waltz,” Thibodeaux said. “There’s also a different kind of dancing called zydeco dancing, but this is not a zydeco band. This is a traditional Cajun band. They play some wonderful dance music, and we have a good time every year.”

Earlier that day, Menard and Jambalaya members Terry Huval and Reggie Matte will give a free, public symposium on Cajun culture and music, from 6-7 p.m. in Evans Building Room 105.

The band visits SHSU annually because they speak to the English 488 class, “Texas Crossroads,” as well as play some music.

Thibodeaux said the Mardi Gras celebration allows people to learn about the culture and also breaks down stereotypes related to the Cajun people and culture.

“I think a lot of times the Cajun culture is misunderstood because of some of the images and impressions that are given from mass media and even in restaurants,” he said. “What you see labeled as Cajun oftentimes is not authentic at all.”

Tickets are $10, or $5 with an SHSU ID.

The dance is expected to end at 10:30 p.m.


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St. Thomas’ Former President To Discuss Ireland

Joseph McFadden, professor emeritus of history and president emeritus at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, will discuss Ireland’s economic rise on Tuesday (Jan. 29).

“The Celtic Tiger,” a multi-media presentation, will be held from 6-7 p.m. in Academic Building IV’s Olson Auditorium.

“The whole idea (of the lecture) is to give our students opportunities to hear about what’s happening in other countries and cultures,” said Debra Andrist, chair of the foreign languages department.

The Irish Celtic Tiger of the 1990s was not only an economic boom for the Irish state but was an economic revolution precipitated by Ireland’s induction into a globalized economy, transforming Ireland from an historically provincial state into one of the most globalized nations in the world.

McFadden earned his doctorate from Northern Illinois University in American history and a minor in modern European and Russian history.

Traveling extensively in Ireland, he also taught at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland.

McFadden joined the UST faculty in 1988, teaching as a history professor since 1997 and serving as president between 1988 and 1997. He also served as interim president in spring 2004.

“He is one of the most sought-after professors around (at St. Thomas),” she said. “People waited in line for hours just to get in his classes.”

A light reception will follow the lecture.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the foreign languages, history and economics departments, as well as the Office of Multicultural and International Student Services.

For more information, call 936.294.1441.


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Book Artist To Direct Library Science Seminar

Illustrator Mike Wimmer will share his tricks of the trade with students, librarians, teachers and budding artists during the library science department’s “Art Seminars in Children’s Book Illustration” on Feb. 2.

The seminar will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on that day in Academic Building IV Room 202.

“The purpose of the seminar is to teach different techniques artists use to make children's books and ties in with information students get in their literature classes,” said library science department chair Mary Berry.

“An award, known as the Caldecott Medal Award, is given each year to books for their illustrations,” she said. “Since our students need to know this award for various reasons the learning of different art techniques can be useful in guiding others to what makes a book an award winning one.”

During the seminar, Wimmer will direct participants in an oil painting art project, materials for which will be provided by the library science department.

Wimmer, a Muskogee, Okla., native, has illustrated such books as “Flight” and “Homerun,” both by Robert Burleigh; “All the Places to Love” by Patricia Maclachan; and “Summertime,” an adaptation of a George Gershwin tune, all of which will be available for sale during the seminar for an autograph session after the event.

His artwork has been described as "reminiscent of some of Norman Rockwell's best" by the Chicago Sun-Times, and he won the Oklahoma Book Award for Design/Illustration for “All the Places to Love” in 1995.

The cost of the event is $25 and free for library science students.

Because the focus of the event is for participants to receive hands-on experience, the event is limited to 50, Berry said.

For more information, contact Rosemary Chance, assistant professor of library science, at or call 936.294.1151.


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Policarpo To Discuss Peruvian Novel

Alcibiades Policarpo, SHSU associate professor of Spanish, will present "Myth and Reality in Categuil” on Monday (Jan. 28).

The discussion, part of the foreign language department’s monthly scholarship presentation, will be held at 3 p.m. in Evans Building Room 317.

Policarpo has served as a foreign language faculty member since 1994.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in law and justice administration in Lima, Peru and both his master’s and doctorate degrees from St. Louis University.

“Myth and Reality in Categuil” is a novel written by an English priest who took Peruvian citizenship and now lives in Cajamarca in northern Peru.

For more information, call the foreign languages department at 936.294.1441.


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Musicians To Perform, Lecture At Four Events

The School of Music will present three concerts with accompanying lectures beginning Sunday (Jan. 27).

Guest artist James Welch will perform that day at 7:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Huntsville.

The next day (Jan. 28), Welch will work with students from 2:30-4:30 p.m. as part of an organ masterclass, also at the FUMC in Huntsville.

On Thursday (Jan. 31), the guest artist Erica Azim will perform the African instrument mbira, also known as the “thumb piano” at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

Azim, founder of the non-profit organization MBIRA, “is the foremost American performer and teacher” of the instrument, which hails from the Shona people of Zimbabwe, according to assistant professor of percussion John Lane.

She also has been recorded on numerous commercially available CDs including “Mbira Dreams” and “Mbira: Healing Music of Zimbabwe.”

Tickets are $10.

In addition, Azim will also give a free lecture on Friday (Feb. 1) from 3-5 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

Guest artist John Scott's recital and masterclass, scheduled for Wednesday (Jan. 30), has been cancelled due to illness.

All events, including masterclasses and lectures, are open to the public.

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


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SAM Center To Give Study Tips

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center will teach students to “study smart” during its workshop series beginning on Monday (Jan. 28).

The first Study Skills Workshop Series is comprised of six one-hour sessions that focus on studying smart, procrastination, time management, reading textbooks and note taking, test taking strategies and stress management.

Sessions will be held on a variety of days and times through to accommodate student schedules, and a second session will begin on March 17.

All sessions will be held in the SAM Center, located in Academic Building IV Room 210.

Space is limited, and students are encouraged to call or stop by the SAM Center to sign up.

For more information, call 936.294.4444, e-mail or visit the SAM Center, located in Academic Building IV Room 210.


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Team To ‘Globetrot’ Into Coliseum Next Week

Tickets are still available for the Harlem Globetrotters, one of the most popular and recognized basketball acts in the world, who will make their first SHSU appearance in three years on Feb. 4 in the Johnson Coliseum.

The performance will be held at 7 p.m.

“Magic as Ever” 2008 world tour tickets can be purchased through the Recreational Sports Department, in Health and Kinesiology Center Suite 162, during normal business hours or online at

Tickets range from $16 for general admission seats to the $51 for “Magic Circle” seats. SHSU students, faculty and staff will receive a $3 discount when they present their Bearkat OneCards.

The Harlem Globetrotters have performed more than 20,000 times and entertained presidents and popes during their 82-year history.

For more information, call 936.294.1740 or 936.294.1985 or visit


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Mehta’s Lectures Get Press In India

Two lectures presented by associate marketing professor Sanjay Mehta during a conference in India were covered by the “Daily News & Analysis,” a very-widely circulated English newspaper in the country.

Mehta’s presentation “Globalisation: Opportunities and Challenges,” in which he discussed the need for India to focus on research and development in order to emerge as a global power, was quoted in the Dec. 29 issue, while his discussion on the need for teachers to entertain their students instead of focusing on strict discipline was quoted in the paper’s Dec. 30 issue.

During the second International Conference on Management, held at the Sardar Patel Institute of Public Administration, Mehta sat on a panel of five professors.

Mehta said he spoke for about 20 minutes on each of the topics.


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Send Update Items Here

Information for the SHSU Update can be sent to the Office of Public Relations electronically at or to any of the media contacts listed below.

Please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

All information for news stories should be sent to the office at least a week in advance to give the PR staff ample time to make necessary contacts and write the story.

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. 25, 2008
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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