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SHSU Update For Week Of April 27

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History Professor To Sign Copies Of ‘Poverty’ Book

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a piece of legislation that became known as the “War on Poverty” in response to the national poverty rate reaching 19 percent.

The legislation and its effects are the topic of assistant professor of history Wesley Phelps’s new book, “A People’s War on Poverty: Urban Politics and Grassroots Activists in Houston.

Wesley Phelps's BookPhelps will sign copies of his book in a history department-sponsored event on Tuesday (April 29), at 4 p.m. in Austin Hall.

Published by the University of Georgia Press in March, “A People's War on Poverty” investigates how the legislation was used by Civil Rights activists to advance their cause, the response to that use by conservative leaders, and its long-lasting implications on the American discourse and the American poor.

Phelps used Houston to examine this legacy because not only is Houston one of the most understudied cities in both the country and the South, but many southern historians don’t even consider Houston to be a part of the South, he said.

And yet Houston, which was and continues to be the largest city in the South, “has a lot to teach us about American history and Southern history,” Phelps said.

“Houston was at the very center of the changes that were happening in America in the 1960s; increasingly, there was a large Latino population in Houston, so the tri-racial, multi-racial politics that would soon define America was visible early in Houston,” he said. “This is the moment (the 1960s and 70s) when Houston is becoming a modern, urban metropolis, so I wanted to see how the implementation of the war on poverty played a role in Houston growing into what we know today.”

Phelps concludes that not only did the “War on Poverty” become a racial issue, opposed because of its use by Civil Rights activists and its disproportionate impact on racial minorities, but it had a long-lasting effect on democracy that has become increasingly visible through redistricting plans, voter identification laws and the Supreme Court decisions involving the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases.

“All of this suggests that over the last decade or so, there has been a narrowing of the definition of democracy, and this vision of democracy that these activists in Houston had (in the 1960s) was there for a brief moment but was defeated,” he said.

The signing will be followed by the department’s Phi Alpha Theta National Honor Society induction ceremony.

For more information on the book-signing event, contact associate professor of history Jeffrey Littlejohn at littlejohn@shsu.edu or 936.294.4438.


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Festival To Feature New Student Animations

Sam Houston State University's computer animation program will debut student work created over the past year during the Computer Animation Festival on Thursday (May 1).

animated green snail without a shell sitting next to a rock on a sidewalk looking afraid
A scene from "Shellous," a student animation that was recently featured at the West Virginia Mountainer Short Film Festival and will be screened at SHSU on May 1. The piece is by Marissa Danison, Allison Deford, Ashley Deford, Carlos Elbara, Kaleigh Hvizdos, Casey Keen, Lauren Priputen, Eric Webb, Justin Weyand, and Kristin Williams. —Submitted still

The free, public event, will include projects from sophomore- to senior-level classes, presented at 6 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center's Dance Theater.

An opening reception will begin at 5 p.m. in the GPAC Lobby.

The festival reflects the diversity of the courses offered within the computer animation program and represents a range of approaches to animation, including narrative and non-narrative animation, character animation, and experimental animation, according to Edward Morin, assistant professor of computer animation.

"The SHSU animation festival will give students a chance to celebrate their hard work. Most students work weeks, sometimes months, to complete a single project," he said. "Events of this nature help to remind students that they are creating work for an audience, an easy thing to forget after spending hours in a dark room in front of a computer."

The event also allows students to share their creative vision and talent with the SHSU and Huntsville communities.

“It is a great way for students to get feedback on their work outside of the formal classroom experience,” Morin said.

Three of the student animations to be screened at this year’s event were selected for the West Virginia Mountaineer Short Film Festival, which took place March 20-22 at West Virginia University.

Those include: "Ballistic Balloon Man" by Kate Barker, Casey Keen, Raphael Medina, and Lindsey Whitfield; "Shellous" by Marissa Danison, Allison Deford, Ashley Deford, Carlos Elbara, Kaleigh Hvizdos, Casey Keen, Lauren Priputen, Eric Webb, Justin Weyand, and Kristin Williams; and “Trapped in Time” by Lindsey Whitfield.

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GCJD To Celebrate World Press Freedom Day

Journalist and Texas native Austin Tice is still missing.

He was last heard from nearly two years ago while reporting in Syria, one of the most dangerous places on earth for journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In fact, 28 journalists were killed there in 2013 alone.

Tice’s story is just one of those that will be highlighted on Wednesday (April 30) by the Sam Houston State University Global Center for Journalism and Democracy in celebration of World Press Freedom Day.

SHSU mass communication students enrolled in the GCJD workshop class are organizing a demonstration and a memorial to journalists who were killed while doing their jobs last year.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area, where students will stage a dramatic presentation to educate others about the sacrifices journalists make to expose the truth.

Students will introduce the campus to six journalists from around the world whom they believe symbolize the many sacrifices journalists make. Those reports can be found on the GCJD website.

"It is our hope that our students will gain a new perspective about what it takes to ensure a free press," said GCJD executive director Kelli Arena.

This is the second year for the center to participate in the event, which will be celebrated internationally on May 3.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed World Press Freedom Day in December 1993.

The day presents an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, to assess the state of press freedom around the world, and to pay tribute to journalists who are missing, have been wounded, or lost their lives in the line of duty.

For more information, contact GCJD at 936.294.4399 or shsuglobalcenter@gmail.com, or visit the GCJD website at shsu.edu/global-journalism.


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Annual Fundraiser To Auction 105 Artworks

art auction posterThe Sam Houston State University Student Art Association will support the arts by putting more than 100 pieces up for bid for its annual auction Monday (April 28) through Saturday (May 3).

Patrons will have the opportunity to bid on pieces for a silent auction being held throughout the week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Satellite Gallery, in the Huntsville square.

Winners will be announced during the live auction on May 3, beginning at 5 p.m. with a reception. The auction will begin at 6 p.m.

Seventy-nine pieces have been selected by SAA curators for the silent auction, with an additional 26 up for bids during the live auction, representing traditional paintings, digital photography, sculpture, drawings, prints, and ceramics, according to Katy Strouse, SAA vice president.

More than 150 works were submitted by students, faculty, alumni and Huntsville community members for the event. Proceeds benefit student artists and the SAA, Strouse said.

“The annual art auction event to gives students, faculty, alumni, and now community members a chance to get their personal works out into the public in hopes of making a little money for all of the efforts to make art,” she said. “This year we have a large selection of art for viewers to purchase.”

“By supporting the arts, we are able to continue doing what we love and furthering our education as artists,” Stouse said. “Our organization is truly grateful for all of the support, donations and volunteers who have made this event continue to bigger and better each year.”

The Satellite Gallery is located at 1216 University Ave. 

For more information, contact Strouse at 936.294.2212 or visit shsusaa.wix.com/artauction2014.


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Music Concerts To Highlight Student Performers, Bands

The SHSU School of Music will begin winding down the semester with a variety of concerts featuring student singers and two SHSU bands beginning on Monday (April 28).

Advanced opera students will kick off a series of events with a program showcasing 20th-century plays and musical theatre songs at 7:30 p.m. that day in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

Performers have been working with acting coach Calvin Hudson for a program “designed to provide opera students with an opportunity to learn acting skills outside the realm of their music classes,” said Rebecca Grimes, Opera Workshop director.

Admission is free.

On Tuesday (April 29), the concert and symphonic bands will perform a variety of music featuring faculty-arranged works and faculty guest performers beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Concert Hall.

Ogechi Ukazu, second year graduate student in conducting, will be appearing in her final concert at SHSU as conductor of the concert band, which will perform music by Dello Joio, Zdechlick, Ticheli, and Radaelli.

The symphonic band program will include “Euphoric Sparks,” by Christopher Tucker, who will be present in the audience; and SHSU euphonium professor Henry Howey’s arrangement of Ponchielli’s “IL Convegno;” and works by Ticheli and Alford.

Soloists for the symphonic band performance will include School of Music faculty clarinetists Patricia Card and Dmytro Perevertailenko.

Finally, on Friday (May 2), the Choral Festival will feature performances by the SHSU Symphonic Choir, Chorale, Concert Choir, and Women's Chorus, in collaboration with the SHSU Symphony Orchestra, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Concert Hall.

The first half of the concert will feature each of the three choral ensembles at SHSU singing highlights from their season, according to director of choral studies James Franklin, who will conduct the concert with concert choir director Eric Esparza.

The second half of the concert will feature faculty pianist Ilonka Rus-Edery performing Ludwig van Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy" with the SHSU Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir.

Before hearing Rus-Edery play the piece, the audience can attend faculty musicologist Sheryl Murphy-Manley’s free pre-concert lecture on the Beethoven "Choral Fantasy," beginning at 7 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall.

Tickets for the April 29 and May 2 concerts are $15 for general admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $5 for SHSU students.

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


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Student Violinists To Bow Out Of Semester In Two Concerts

Students in two of associate professor of violin and string studies coordinator Javier Pinell’s classes will end the semester on a high note with concerts on Sunday (April 27) and Wednesday (April 30).

The Violin Studio Recital will bring together Pinell’s students with students in violin instructor Naomi Gjevre’s class for an afternoon of masterworks ranging from the Baroque to 20th-century musical periods.

The recital will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.
Among the works to be performed are the violin sonatas by Mozart, Brahms, and Griegamong others; and Paganini's “Caprice No. 24” for solo violin.

“This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the wonderful repertoire written for this genre,” Pinell said.

Wednesday’s Chamber Music Class Recital, at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall, will include “an evening of music in the intimate setting of chamber music,” works for smaller ensembles, ranging between two to four players, according to Pinell.

“With a strong chamber class this semester, the program will include masterworks ranging from the classical to contemporary musical periods. Among the composers featured are Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Ravel, as well as others,” he said. “This also is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the wonderful repertoire written for this genre.”

Admission to both performances is free.

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


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Planetarium To End Spring With ‘Extreme,’ ‘Chaotic’ Showings

The SHSU physics department will bring the spring planetarium program series to a close by exploring the universe’s most “Extreme Planets” and fusing science and art in two presentations.

The “Extreme Planets” presentation at 7 p.m. on May 9 will show visitors “how astronomers are discovering planets orbiting other stars and how the environment of some of these worlds might be, according to Michael Prokosch.

The showing will be in Farrington Building Room 201.

On May 23, the double feature of “Extreme Planets” and “Chaos and Order” will also showcase the “color” and “sound” of math in a program that examines the “fundamental connection between reality and mathematics,” according to Michael Prokosch, physics department staff laboratory assistant.

“Chaos and Order” takes audiences on a journey into a “fascinating world of sensuous, ever-evolving images and symphonic-electronic music,” he said.

The presentation will also begin at 7 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 201.

During both programs, Prokosch will also point out stars and constellations that can be viewed from the spring and summer skies.

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.

For more information, contact Prokosch at 936.294.3664.


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Parking, Transportation Adds eCitation Process To Ticketing

In order to make parking citation management more convenient, the Office of Parking and Transportation will begin sending parking violation notifications via email, in addition to attaching a printed copy of the citation to the vehicle, beginning Monday (April 28).

The eCitation process will strengthen the department’s ability to notify potential violators within the 10-calendar-day appeal period but does not guarantee that an email will be sent by our office or that it will be received by the person who was issued the citation, according to Matt McDaniel, assistant director for parking and transportation at SHSU’s Department of Public Safety Services.

To facilitate the process, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to ensure personal contact or vehicle information is correct and that your vehicle is registered with the university.

The management system will send the notification to the violator's registered SHSU e-mail address as an Adobe Acrobat .PDF attachment from the parktrans@shsu.edu email address.

For more information, or to access the parking rules and regulations, visit shsu.edu/parking, or contact McDaniel at 936.294.2505 or parktrans@shsu.edu.


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Faculty Books Sought For Heritage Magazine 'Shelf'

Sam Houston State University's Heritage magazine will continue recognizing the research and accomplishments of the SHSU faculty in the "Bookshelf" section of the publication.

Faculty and staff members who have published a book, or expect to have a book published, within the academic school year (2013-2014), are encouraged to e-mail book information—including the title of the book, its publication (or anticipated publication) date, and a brief summary of the topic—to today@sam.edu or jenniferg@shsu.edu. Cover art will also be accepted in the .jpg format.

The details will be used in the Fall 2014 Heritage, anticipated to be printed in August. To see the "Bookshelf" from the Fall 2013 Heritage, visit shsuheritage.com/2013/08/16/bookshelf.

The deadline for submissions is May 30.

For more information, contact Jennifer Gauntt at 936.294.4406.


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Today@Sam Seeks Summer, Fall Calendar Info

The university Communications Office is now collecting information on campus events for its summer and fall calendar pages.

Departmental calendars or events can be sent to today@sam.edu or jenniferg@shsu.edu or faxed to 294.1834. Please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

Information collected for the Today@Sam calendar pages, at shsu.edu/~pin_www/calendars, is used by various media outlets, as well as the Communications Office for news stories and releases.

All information, including story ideas and update items for Today@Sam, should be sent a minimum of a week in advance of the event in order to make necessary contacts and write a story.

To see a full list of the Today@Sam submission guidelines, or to access submission forms for news or feature stories, calendar submissions, or hometown releases, visit shsu.edu/~pin_www/guidelines.html.

For more information, call 936.294.1836.


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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 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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This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office
Associate Director: Julia May
Manager: Jennifer Gauntt
Located in the 115 Administration Building
Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu.

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