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SHSU Update For Week Of April 13

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Deputy To Give ‘Real Talk’ About Work In Marshals Service

For the last year, Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Garmon has been part of a task force that hunts down and arrests some of the most dangerous fugitives in the Houston area.

still from the tv show Marshall Law
Deputy U.S. Marshall Robert Garmon (above on the TNT series "Marshall Law") will talk about his experiences in the marshalls service on April 17.

Take the case of Joshua World, who ambushed his ex-girlfriend and shot her in the head while she was moving into a new apartment. After firing at police during a high-speed chase, World got away but was tracked down 24 hours later in a vacant home in southeast Harris County.

Before Garmon and the Gulf Coast Violent Offender Task Force members could arrest him, World shot himself in the head and died at the scene.

Garmon will share those kinds of stories on Thursday (April 17), for the Real Talk with CJ series. The presentation will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

The task force is a multi-agency law enforcement group that apprehends fugitives from state felony cases, such as capital murder, aggravated assault and sexual assault, as well as offenders with federal warrants. It operates in Harris, Galveston, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties and was recently featured on the TNT Series “Marshal Law: Texas.”

“The reason the task force is so successful in what we do is because we work with the strengths of all agencies to get the job done,” said Garmon. “It’s pretty exciting to see what we do on TV. It’s a learning tool for others, and I think it was good to get a glimpse of what we do on a daily basis.”

Garmon joined the U.S. Marshals Service in 2009 after serving as a probation officer in Montgomery County for three years. He began his marshals’ career in McAllen, where he handled a variety of duties, including fugitive warrants and civil process.

After transferring to the Houston office, Garmon was initially involved with transporting prisoners to court for trial, sentencing and motions, including several high profile cases, including kidnapping and gang trials.

Garmon, who graduated from SHSU in 2005, credits the College of Criminal Justice for teaching him many of the skills he needs for his job. As a Bearkat football player, he learned professionalism and time management. He also met “genuinely good people,” including fellow students and faculty.

That day, he will also present during The Woodlands Center Career Workshop, beginning at 11 a.m. in The Woodlands Center Room 110.


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Haven To Train Staff, Student Advocates

SHSU’s Haven initiative will examine the LGBT climate on campus and educate faculty and students on issues related to sexual orientation and diversity through its spring training programs on April 21 and April 22.

Haven logoThe April 21 session will emphasize understanding sexual orientation diversity issues and their impact on society; inter-cultural communication and being a helpful, effective ally; struggles faced within the LGBT community; and a group discussion on the climate for LGBT population at SHSU.

The April 22 session will focus on the fears and discomfort of the transgender community, exploring basic information about the population, such as transgender health and transitioning and how to effectively engage with transgender individuals.

Both sessions will be from 4-5 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 307.

Haven, a campus-wide effort begun in 2009, was created to promote inclusion and advocacy on the SHSU campus, through which faculty and staff members provide a “safe zone” for the LGBT community to discuss issues without having to worry about being discriminated against or admonished for their sexual orientation.

After attending trainings, participants can be considered Haven “allies” who, as active supporters of equality, can serve as an outlet for SHSU’s LGBT community.

“We at Sam Houston State University are committed to the inclusion of all students,” said Maryam Ilahi, staff psychologist for the SHSU Counseling Center. “SHSU’s institutional mission statement emphasizes the importance of promoting and supporting diversity, and we believe all students at SHSU should feel safe regarding their sexual orientation.”

Trainings are limited to 30 participants and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to register is April 19.

For more information, contact Ilahi at or 936.294.1720, or stop by the Counseling Center to pick up a registration form.


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Woodlands Center Workshop To Assist With Career Prep

The Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice will review resume building, interviewing skills, internships, and federal jobs during a career workshop at SHSU—The Woodlands Center on Thursday (April 17).

The workshop, which will include a presentation by Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Garmon will begin at 11 a.m. in TWC Room 110.

“With the growing number of criminal justice students at The Woodlands Center, we want to ensure that they receive the same career development opportunities offered on the main campus,” said Janet Mullings, TWC executive director. “This event will help our students identify their career goals and sharpen their skills to make them more competitive in the marketplace.”

Vanessa Richard, the CJ career counselor, will present a resume and interviewing skills workshop. In addition to providing tips for the job hunt, the session will present the diverse array of services at Career Services, including career assessments, mock interviews, cover letter and resume assistance, JOBS for KATS job listings, career library/computers, company information, presentations and workshops, career counseling and on-campus interviews.

Jim Dozier, CJ internship coordinator, will discuss the hundreds of internships offered in law enforcement, corrections, victim services, forensic science, and private companies. Full-time internships, available in the senior year, include nine credit hours and are an opportunity to link to future employment.

“What sets our program apart from others is that the student will spend the entire semester or summer in an internship reporting to potential employers, rather than a part-time internship,” Dozier said. “The internship program is an important component for criminal justice students as it expands the number of contacts you can make which in turn will create more opportunities for careers.”

The key presentation will be given by 2005 graduate Robert Garmon, a deputy U.S. Marshal in Houston.

Garmon, who joined the U.S. Marshals in 2009, also is part of the Gulf Coast Violent Offender Task Force, a multi-agency law enforcement that hunts down and arrests some of the most dangerous fugitives in the Houston area.

As a deputy U.S. Marshal, Garmon also is involved in civil processing of seized assets and transporting federal prisoners across the country and world. The U.S. Marshals Service is also responsible for protecting the federal judiciary and operating the federal Witness Protection Program.


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Health Center To Bring ‘da Vinci’ Robot To Campus

The Student Health Center will offer students the opportunity to demonstrate “the next frontier” in surgery on Wednesday (April 16), when Intuitive Surgical will share its da Vinci XI System from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Lee Drain Building Lobby.

The da Vinci system provides patients with a minimally invasive alternative to surgery that reduces many of the costs and complications associated with open procedures, according to Brian Kiscoe, Intuitive Surgical area sales manager.

The system has been used in procedures for complex diseases and conditions in gynecology, urology, thoracic, cardiac, and general surgery.

“Basically, the system enables surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery on a broader range of patients,” Kiscoe said. “By utilizing the daVinci System, they are in essence miniaturizing their hands and placing them inside the patient via the robot.”

During the hands-on demonstration, Kiscoe will describe how the system works, answer questions, and students will be able to test out the surgical robot’s three components—the vision tower, surgeon console and patient cart.

“The idea behind bringing this technology to the staff and students of SHSU is to bring about awareness to the technology and the ability to receive a minimally invasive procedure as well as educate the medical, science and technology students about the advancements in healthcare,” he said. “Whether students are interested in pursuing a medical career, science career or engineering career, this technology will fascinate them.”

Lisa Clarkson, Student Health Center program coordinator, said this is a good opportunity for students in the College of Health Sciences to familiarize themselves with new medical concepts.

“The field of robotic surgery is growing, and I believe that the more exposure people have to new medical concepts, such as this, the more comfortable they will be with them,” she said. “Participants will be able to sit at an operative surgeon console and manipulate the robotic arms on the (empty) patient table.”

For more information, contact Clarkson at 936.294.4347.


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Annual ‘Jeans’ Day To Recognize Genetic Disorder

In medical school, many aspiring doctors learn the saying, “when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras,” teaching them to focus on the likeliest possibilities when making a diagnosis, not the unusual ones.

Sometimes, however, physicians need to look for a zebra.

Primary Immunodeficiency patients are the zebras of the medical world, according to Yvette Shorten, an assistant program coordinator for the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas at SHSU, whose sons, Deidrick and Jerry, were affected by primary immune deficiency diseases.

PIDD zebra logoIn an effort to teach the world about “zebras,” while raising funds to help promote awareness of these diseases, SHSU’s College of Criminal Justice and LEMIT will host a “Blue Jeans for Healthy Genes Day” on April 16.

In recognition of National Primary Immune Deficiency Awareness Month, participants are asked to donate $10 to the foundation and wear blue jeans. In honor of the “zebras,” participants are also encouraged to wear their favorite zebra print top, cap, tie or scarf, along with their jeans.

Approximately 250,000 people in the United States are annually diagnosed with a Primary Immune Deficiency Disease.

There are about 200 different PIDDs, which can take the forms of an absence of T-cells, B-cells, NK cells, thymus, tonsils or lymph nodes, all of which are needed to combat viruses and bacteria infections.

People with PIDD live their entire lives more susceptible to infections–enduring recurrent health problems and often developing serious and debilitating illnesses. Fortunately, with proper medical care, many patients live full and independent lives, according to Shorten.

David Vetter, known as “the boy in the plastic bubble,” lived his entire life in a germ-free sterile environment due to Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder, the most severe and life-threatening form of PIDD.

“My first born son, Deidrick, also lived his short but precious life in a germ-free sterile environment due to SCID,” Shorten said. “While not contagious, these diseases are caused by hereditary or genetic defects.”

For their donation, participants also will receive a primary immune deficiency disease button pin and sticker, as well as a tax-deductible receipt.

To sign up for “Blue Jeans for Healthy Genes Day,” contact Shorten at 936.294.3851, and for more information on PIDD or the Primary Immune Deficiency Foundation, visit primaryimmune.org.


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Exhibit To Examine Stereotypes, Cultural Difference

An exhibit examining the experiences of an Arab American student at SHSU will be on display in the Lowman Student Center Art Gallery Sunday (April 13) through Saturday (April 19).

A reception for Tisatash "Nineteen," the honors thesis of Farrah Al Sulaiman, will be on Wednesday (April 16), from 5-6 p.m. in the gallery.

side view of a man with head bowed as if in prayer and holding a gold sword in clasped hands
Honors student Farrah Al Sulaiman's photogoraphy draws upon traditional Islamic and Catholic aesthetics, representing the competing ideologies that have influenced her life as an Arab American. —Photo from Al Sulaiman's website

Al Sulaiman was born in Kansas City and lived in Iowa until she was 12, when her family moved to Saudi Arabia to be closer to her father’s extended family.

After marrying and having children, she decided to pursue higher education and moved to Houston with her family.

“When I moved to the U.S. I finally found fulfillment in realizing my dream of bettering myself through education,” said Al Sulaiman, who will receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in May.

Since moving to the U.S., Al Sulaiman has used her art to express the experience of “living as a stereotype, whether here or at home in Saudi Arabia” and uses her work to challenge these stereotypes and promote social change.

“Learning to live again in a country where Arab and Muslim stereotypes prevail has been an interesting experience,” she said. “As an Arab American, I often get asked about my cultural and religious beliefs. This interest has driven me to create work that bridges the gap in our societies.

“In my work, I often draw upon my childhood, which was rich with Catholic ideology. These ideas act as a counterpoint to my Islamic heritage.”

While working in contemporary themes, she also draws upon traditional Islamic and Catholic aesthetics, combining various media, such as photography, installation, sculpture and painting, “to create visually rich work.”

“My work investigates issues of cultural identity constructed from personal experiences, familial and political perspectives. I study religious and social beliefs, especially those dealing with women and understanding ‘the other,’” Al Sulaiman said. “These ideologies often divide us, and this divide can only be rectified with an acknowledgement of our cultural similarities, which is the focus of my work.

“My passion for bridging these two cultures together stems from my perpetual quest for self-understanding. I use art as a tool to discover the truth and similarities that unite us all.”

For more information on the exhibit, contact Al Sulaiman at farrahsu@yahoo.com or visit her website cargocollective.com/FarrahAlSulaiman.


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Senior Artists Explore ‘Femininity’ In 'NEXA'

Nexa postcardFour graduating artists whose work shares a “feminine quality,” while differing in media types, will put that work on display for "NEXA," Wednesday through Saturday (April 16-19) in the Student Satellite Gallery.

"NEXA" features works by seniors Emelia Bates, Michelle Pena, Amber Eggleton, and Megan Mulholland.

While each artist differs in her conceptual content, all share a “feminine quality” in their art, “whether it be in the way we make our work and handle our materials or in the direct subject matter,” Pena said.

The students will discuss their works during an artist talk and reception on Thursday (April 17). The reception will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the artist talks at 5:30 p.m. A second reception will be from 6-9 p.m. on Friday.

Eggleton’s pieces are created from ceramics and other natural materials, combining methods to create new home-building techniques.

She explores the idea of “home” by looking into the mating and social habits of animals and how they can be closely related to the way humans build relationships with each other.

Pena explores the idea of captured memories held within an object, evoking an inner expression of deep connection with the intimate by recreating, from porcelain, objects whose held memories provide a reflection of personal moments, she said.

Bates creates works dealing with the objectification of the female form as a decorative object.

“By making casts of parts of my own body and adding pieces from found formal dress attire, I express the oppressive ideals of how women present themselves and how these demands have effected my life,” Bates said.

Mulholland finds inspiration in gymnasts and circus performers, exploring the female body’s strength, flexibility and ability to contort itself into unusual positions.

“Through drawings layered with fabrics of different patterns and textures, along with recycled materials, I highlight the extremes to which the female body can be pushed,” she said.

The exhibit will be open Wednesday through Saturday, from 1-5 p.m.

The SSG is located at 1216 University Ave.

For more information, contact Pena at michellecondon.1106@yahoo.com.


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Video To Observe Cultural Traditions Of Holy Week

The Christian holiday Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion.

In some traditions, the celebration extends beyond a day, incorporating an entire “Holy Week” of religious events.

The foreign languages department will pay homage to the cultural value of the combined indigenous and Roman Catholic religious practices in Mexico during Holy Week with an English-language screening of “Holy Week in San Miguel De Allende” on Maundy Thursday (April 17).

The film, the first in a trilogy by San Rafael Films from Houston, will be presented at 3:30 p.m. in Academic Building IV Room 301.

The video, produced in 1997 from the in-country experiences of San Rafael Films founder Patricia Collins, exemplifies the combination of beliefs and practices from the enduring indigenous practices—including dance, music and the burning of copal—and the Christian tradition brought to Mexico in the early 1500s by Spanish explorers.

“Members of the (Spanish) religious orders, who served as the first and most active missionaries, found much to admire in the people who inhabited this land and in the institutions they had developed,” said Debra Andrist, chair of the foreign languages department and author of the trilogy’s accompanying study guide. “As a result, they collected detailed information about the Aztecs—their religious calendar, the education and discipline of the young, the bravery and generous sharing of the adults—and described the dilemma of the early religious teachers.

“They took what was good in the old ways and blended it into the new; as best they could, they syncretized the divergent elements,” she said.

The trilogy explores this combining of these cultures and the rich spiritual heritage that resulted, including contemporary Mexico’s popular expressions in feasts, processions, pilgrimages, and other colorful, and musical, events, Andrist said.

The video includes narration by Edward James Olmos and interviews that provide information necessary for understanding both history and current events.

The presentation, which is open to the public, will be accompanied by a study guide and a discussion, as well as a sampling of traditional Holy Week food.

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


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Submit Update Items Here

In order to assist members of the Sam Houston State University community in publicizing events, the SHSU Communications Office (Today@Sam) is now requesting that students, faculty and staff submit information about events, accomplishments or ideas for feature stories online.

Submission criteria and guidelines, including deadlines, have now been placed online, at https://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/guidelines.html. This information is also accessible through the “Submissions” link in the right-hand navigation on Today@Sam.

From there, those submitting ideas can access forms that will allow them to provide detailed information about their idea, as well as attach event calendars, vitas/resumes or photos, depending on the type of submission.

Ideas submitted to the SHSU Communications Office are directly utilized in several ways: as news stories, “slider” or SHSU home page stories, hometown releases, and on the Today@Sam calendar.

If your submission qualifies for distribution, we will either contact you for more detailed information, or we will edit the information using SHSU/journalistic style and forward the final release to the appropriate media.

All information is verified before release, so please provide complete, accurate and timely information. Please type all responses in appropriate upper and lower cases.

For more information, contact the Communications Office at 936.294.1836 or today@sam.edu.



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