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SHSU Update For Week Of March 16


Andrist To Get ‘Personal’ For Lecture Series

Debra Andrist, chair of the foreign languages department, will discuss her career, her life and her experiences at SHSU on Wednesday (March 19), during the Student Advising and Mentoring Center’s “Up Close and Personal” speaker series.

The 30-minute lunchtime presentation will be held at noon at the Farrington Pit.

The series is “designed to help our students and university community build mentoring relationships with our outstanding faculty,” said Bernice Strauss, director of academic support programs for the SAM Center.

Andrist, who came to SHSU in 2007, has studied a number of different foreign languages, including Geilge (Irish), Arabic, Spanish and French.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays Kansas State University, her master’s degree from University of Utah and her doctorate from the State University of New York in Buffalo.

Before coming to SHSU, where she also teaches Spanish, Andrist served in various capacities at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Baylor University and State University of New York in Buffalo, as well as serving as a Spanish instructor at several schools in Texas and New York.

She also is credited with six books, on various issues related to the language and Hispanic population.
For more information, call the Student Advising and Mentoring Center at 936.294.4444.


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Spanish Prof To Discuss 18th Century Seamstress

Frieda Koeninger, associate professor of Spanish, will share her research on the “novel” life of Luisa de Dufresi during a talk on Monday (March 17).

“Female, French and Alone: Surviving in Mexico City in the 1780s,” part of the foreign languages department’s scholar presentation, will be held from 3-4 p.m. in Evans Building Room 320.

Koeninger learned about de Dufresi, a French seamstress who set up shop in Mexico City in 1784, through research she has been doing over a number of years on the social history of 18th century Mexico.

“Her life sounds like something out of a novel,” Koeninger said. “She was born in Paris, grew up in a convent, married in Haiti at 13, was a widow at 19, was captured by English pirates and taken to Charleston, then sent to Havana, and eventually arrived in Mexico City.

De Dufresi was arrested during the Mexican Inquisition in 1786.

“The case shows the tension between an admiration for the French among the upper class on the one hand, that she took advantage of to promote herself, and a resentment among the lower class, on the other hand, that triggered her arrest,” Koeninger said.

Koeninger has been teaching at SHSU since 1995, receiving tenure in 1999. She previously taught literature at the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from SHSU, her master’s degree at the Universidad de las Américas and her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. The lecture is free and open to all.

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


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Foreign Languages To Share Cultures

The foreign languages department will host three events designed to bring the Hispanic culture onto campus beginning Tuesday (March 18).

From 12:30-2 p.m. on that day, assistant professor of economics J. Ulyses Balderas and associate professor of history Caroline Crimm will discuss “Gender and the Hispanic World” in Evans Building Room 320.

The panel discussion will include Balderas’ view on “Are remittances from female migrants larger than the money sent by male migrants? Evidence from Mexican migrants in three counties in Texas,” while Crimm will discuss “Petra and Patricia: Survival among the Anglos.”

On Wednesday (March 19), the department will recognize Holy Week, the last week before Easter that includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, with the showing of “Holy Week in San Miguel de Allende.”

The movie, one of a trilogy by San Rafael Films, will be played from 1-2 p.m. in Evans Building Room 351.

Following the movie, the foreign languages students, under the supervision of faculty members, will recreate a Holy Week “processional rug" in sidewalk chalk in front of the Evans Building, where Spanish professors will also talk from 2-3 p.m.

“The processions are kind of like a ‘kick-off,’ enthusiasm-raising, celebratory rites marking religious holidays, especially Easter,” said Debra Andrist, foreign languages department chair. “The ‘rug’ marks the route for the religious processions/parades of statues of saints/religious figures and/or ‘monstros’ (reliquiaries) throughout the town.”

All events are free and open to the university community.

For more information, call the foreign languages department at 936.294.1441 or e-mail Andrist at


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Nominations Sought For Distinguished Awards

The SHSU Alumni Association is seeking nominations for Bearkat graduates who have distinguished themselves through their personal and professional achievements for its annual distinguished alumni and outstanding young alumni awards.

Nominations for the Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni nominations are due by April 1.

“The highest honor” the association and university can bestow upon alumni, the Distinguished Alumni award recognizes graduates or former students who “have made significant contributions to SHSU and/or society, and thus have brought honor and distinction to our university,” the nomination form said.

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is given to one individual based on criteria as the Distinguished Alumni Award, except the recipient must be under 40 years of age.

Any individual or group may submit a nomination for an award.

Nomination forms, with a complete list of award criteria, are available online at and should be returned to the SHSU Office of Alumni Relations, in the Visitor Center, or by mail to P.O. Box 2022, Huntsville, Texas 77341-2022.

Nominations received after the deadline will not be considered; however, the forms will remain on file for consideration the following year.

The Distinguished Alumni Gala will be held on Oct. 17.

For more information, contact the Alumni Relations Office at 936.294.1841 or


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Office To Prepare Students For ‘Destination Graduation’

The Registrar's Office will give upcoming graduates a one-stop “destination” where all their questions can be answered on Wednesday (March 19).

“Destination Graduation,” which will include giveaways and food, will be held from 1-3 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

“This event is held to provide students a place to gather any last-minute details regarding graduation and take care of any issues affiliated with account information, graduation status information or GRE (Graduate Record Exam) questions,” said Zach Valdes, publications coordinator for the Registrar’s Office.

The event is open to all students who have applied for May 2008 graduation, including all those in bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs.

For more information, call the Registrar’s Office at 936.294.


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Film To Show ‘Dirty,’ ‘Pretty’ Sides Of Immigration

The American Democracy Project will give a “thrilling” and realistic look at the lives of illegal immigrants during its next “Burning Issue” film, “Dirty Pretty Things,” on Tuesday and Wednesday (March 18-19).

The Academy Award-nominated thriller will be shown at 3:30 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

“Dirty Pretty Things” tells the story of Okwe, an African-in-exile, who drives a cab during the day and works as a desk clerk in a good hotel at night in London.

In four or five frantic days, he tries to save another illegal immigrant, Senay, from the clutches of the cheerfully sinister manager of the hotel in which they both work during which time they are offered forged passports in return for a kidney or some other organ that can be sold on the black market.

“However harried, Okwe, a great chess player, has to see every move in advance as he defends himself and his friends from the treachery on all sides,” said David Denby in a review on

Not a “violent thriller,” “Dirty Pretty Things” is rated “R” for sexual content, disturbing images and language.
The movie, originally scheduled for March 8 and March 11-12 but rescheduled due to Spring Break, was also shown on March 15, at 7 p.m. at the Katy and E. Don Walker, Sr., Education Center.

All of the ADP’s “Burning Issues Film” series showings are free and open to both the SHSU and Huntsville communities.

Each showing will be followed by a brief reception with punch and cookies, and a discussion, which will vary depending upon the subject matter of the film and the guest discussants.

“The purpose of the 'ADP Burning Issues Film series' is to contribute to the academic and cultural life here at SHSU by bringing in films that address or relate to critical issues facing the world today,” said John Newbold, ADP film series coordinator.

Among its accolades, “Dirty Pretty Things” was nominated for an Oscar in 2004 in the “Best Writing (Original Screenplay)” category.

For more information, contact Newbold at 936.294.1274.


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Bearkat Drummers Save The Day

Can you have a parade without drums to keep marching time?

The City of Conroe almost found out recently, but thanks to a group of Bearkat drummers, didn't have to face that situation.

Bobby Heathcock, Conroe High School band director, explained that the Conroe High School band's drum line was at a contest on the day that his city was having its annual Go-Texan Parade through downtown.

"In an effort to prevent school district and community disappointment, I turned to the Sam Houston State University School of Music for assistance," said Heathcock. "I asked members of the SHSU drum line if they would be interested in assisting the Conroe Band in this parade."

Their response, said Heathcock, was "extraordinary to say the least." The SHSU students rehearsed with Heathcock's group an hour and "performed magnificently," and spent some seven hours overall on their musical rescue mission.

"The SHSU drum line was the hit of the parade and their attitude and strength allowed for a great performance by the Conroe Tiger Band," said Heathcock.

He complimented the students along with Matthew McInturf, director of bands, "for their compassion and willingness to assist a community in need."


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Tour To Explore ‘Winter Sky’ Through ‘Hubble Vision’

The physics department will give another public tour of “what’s currently up in the winter night sky” and information on the Hubble Space Telescope during its planetarium series program on Monday (March 17).

The planetarium series program, which shows attendees which constellations, stars and planets they can expect to see in the upcoming weeks, will be held at 7 p.m. in the planetarium, located in Farrington Building Room F102.

The show will last approximately one hour and will visit the constellations visible during the long, cold months of the winter season, according to Michael Prokosch, staff aide for the physics department.

“They will hear the tale of Orion and meet other mythical figures represented as constellations, such as Gemini and Taurus,” he said. “‘Winter Sky’ mixes ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek astronomy lore.”

The program will also explore “all things Hubble,” from its launch, discoveries, and famous images taken, such as the Hubble Deep Field, Hubble Ultra Deep Field, the Pillars of Creation and more with “Hubble Vision,” according to Prokosch.

“The Hubble Space Telescope is expected to receive a final service mission from the space shuttle in summer of 2008 to extend its life well into the next decade,” he said. “Space will never again look the same.”

The planetarium seats up to 29 visitors and includes a dome that is approximately 18 feet in diameter and more than 20 feet high in the center, according to Prokosch.

Admission is free.

Other show dates for the semester include April 11, April 25, May 9 and May 3.

For more information on current show times for the planetarium or the observatory, call 936.294.3664 or e-mail Prokosch at


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Exhibit Analyzes ‘Perfection’

Art majors Franchesca Cox and Katherine Page will share their views on the human struggle for perfection during an art exhibit in the Lowman Student Center Art Gallery through March 29.

“Symphony of Imperfection,” which includes oil paintings, mosaics and collages, “is based on the idea of the human emotions that keep a person struggling toward perfection but never reaching it,” according to Cox.

Among Cox’s pieces are “Split Wide Open,” a painting split into two canvases, that embraces heartache and loss of life as a stepping stone and “Stand Still,” which “displays irony in the midst of reality.

“It illustrates my natural tendency to react to problems by running when all I really need to do is stand still,” she said.

Page’s works include “Denigration,” about the “vulnerability that often occurs in the transition in a woman's life from childhood to adulthood,” and several works with religious messages, according to Cox.

“Self-Inflicted Circus Clown,” inspired by a Natalie Grant song, “illustrates how heartbreak in one's life is masked, while only Christ can see through it all” and the “Road to Salvation,” a mosaic, “interprets the hardships in life as winding roads which all lead to Christ in his perfect love,” Cox said.

The LSC Art Gallery is located in the lobby of the Lowman Student Center and is open during building hours.

For more information, call Cox at 281.881.5308.


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Career Services To Give Job Fair Basics

Career Services will prepare students for the upcoming Spring Teacher Job Fair, with workshops that will help them perfect their résumés and “work” the fair.

On Tuesday (March 18), the "Effective Résumé Writing Workshop" will be held from noon to 1 p.m.

Students can learn the benefits of attending job fairs, general professional etiquette, how to best prepare for the event, and what to do after it's over on Wednesday (March 19) during the "How To 'Work' The Career Fair" workshop, which will be held from 3-4 p.m.

While there is no need to register beforehand for any of the three workshops, which will all be held in the Career Services Library, space is limited to less than 50 people.

The Spring Teacher Job Fair will be held on March 26, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Johnson Coliseum.

For more information on any of the workshops, call Career Services at 936.294.1713.


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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 (March 17).

The second 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 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 or e-mail


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Education Methods Registration Begins April 1

Methods registration for academic studies and secondary education students will be open from April 1 to May 1.

During this time, students can go to Sam Web, log in and then go to student records and click on “methods application” for the fall ’08 semester.

“Once they do this, they will put all their information on the screen, and after they hit ‘submit’ they will get a confirmation that their application was sent,” said curriculum and instruction department secretary Susan Hayes.

After submitting an application, the department will check for placement eligibility, Hayes said.

For more information, call Hayes at 936.294.3896.


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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
March 13, 2008
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