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SHSU Update For Week Of Aug. 10

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‘Motel’-Inspired ‘No Vacancy’ To Leave Room For ‘After Party’

Sam Houston State University alumnus Scott McCarley’s “Dust Bowl Motel” centers on a young woman who cleans rooms in a rundown motel and dreams of a better life.

Nine SHSU art students, in conjunction with the debut of the play at the J. Philip Gibbs Jr. Centre for Performing Arts, will explore McCarley’s themes in another medium, one of which McCarley is also familiar, in an art exhibition in the Satellite Gallery.

“No Vacancy” will be presented Aug. 15-16, as an “after party” for the play’s presentation, from 8-10 p.m.

No Vacancy PosterThe special exhibition features the works of Justin Casias, Amber Eggleton, Jerry Gardner, Luke Ikard, Jacob Jaso, Krystal Murray, Laura Pregeant, Kailey Shea Smith, and Katy Strouse. It contains a range of media and processes—textiles, photography, videos, ceramics, sculptures, installations, and paintings.

The exhibit was curated by SHSU assistant professor of art Annie Strader and adjunct lecturer Matthew Weedman.

“The works in the exhibit were selected because the ideas the artists are working with connect to some of the larger themes in ‘Dust Bowl Motel’ such as, longing for a better life, personal transformation, and the possibility for acceptance of presence,” Strader said. “We invite all theatre goers to join us for refreshments, art and dialogue when the play lets out.”

The collaboration, of sorts, is the result of McCarley’s continued support of the Satellite Gallery, having attended all of the receptions, talked with students about their work and supported the SAA auction, according to Strader.

“In talking with him at an opening in the spring, he suggested the idea of doing an after party for the play,” she said. “I thought this was a great idea; Scott and I have had several conversations about how we could create more of a synergy between what is happening in the various departments within the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication, but also how to connect people who might attend a play, music or dance concert, or film screening with people who attend art openings.

“His suggestion of an after party seemed like a natural way to bring some of those audiences together,” Strader continued. “Because we are still new in the neighborhood, it’s also a great way to let people know where the Satellite Gallery is and what we are doing.”

“Dust Bowl Motel” was co-written by Jim Roth and is directed by SHSU alumna Marjean Creager.

The Satellite Gallery is located at 1216 University Ave. All exhibits are free and open to the public.


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New Awards To Recognize Graduate Researchers

Research is a part of life for graduate students, whether it is for semester assignments, scholarly publication that will give them a leg up in the job field, or a thesis, dissertation or capstone project that will enable them to graduate.

This year, the Office of Graduate Studies is introducing a way for those students to share the projects they’ve spent semesters, or perhaps years, on, while also competing for prizes, through the office’s inaugural Thesis Dissertation and Capstone Project Awards.

The three winning projects will be recognized at the spring 2015 Graduate Studies Award Banquet and the authors will win an iPad.

“Over the past year, my office has worked to create opportunities to honor graduate students, but we realized there was a gap: writing a thesis, dissertation, or capstone project is no small feat; it signifies the culmination of years of research and countless hours of writing, editing, and defending your work,” said Kandi Tayebi, dean of Graduate Studies and associate vice president for Academic Affairs.

“As dean of Graduate Studies, it is a priority for me to create opportunities to recognize the accomplishments and important research of graduate students at SHSU,” she said. “I want to encourage the next generation of academics by fostering a rich academic culture on campus. I’m proud of that we’ve been able to recognize graduate student teaching and research so far.”

Applicants must submit a nomination form signed by his/her supervising faculty member; a finalized copy of the thesis, dissertation or capstone project, which can include a video for creative projects; and a statement of explanation that describes the project.

Applications are available online, at shsu.edu/dept/graduate-studies/forms-and-publications.html, and are due by Aug. 22 to the Office of Graduate Studies, in Bobby K. Marks Administration Building Room 203 or via email to gradstudies@shsu.edu.

For more information, contact Weston Rose, Graduate Studies media and communications specialist, at 936.294.2408.


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Art Major Wins ‘Big’ Houston Show, Three Others Compete

wind chime Laura Pregeant posing with her thousand dollar prize
"Places Unheard" (left) won Laura Pregeant (right) one of the three "big" prizes at the Houston Lawndale Art Center's "The Big Show." —Left photo courtesy of Huntsville Item; Right photo submitted

Sam Houston State senior art major Laura Pregeant has had a model summer, not only gaining a lot of exposure for her work as one of four SHSU students whose work was selected for the Lawndale Art Center’s “Big Show” but also was named among the three “big” winners of the juried competition.

The Lawndale Art Center’s “The Big Show” is an annual open-call juried exhibition that received 981 works by 382 artists, who compete for a spot in the show and a cash award.

The show is designed to provide under-represented artists who live within 100 miles of Houston the opportunity to showcase their art.

The exhibition was narrowed down to 115 words by 106 artists, and Pregeant was among three selected by juror Erin Elder—who is the visual arts director at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico—as the winner of one of three $1,000 prizes.

Pregeant submitted her work “Places Unheard,” a silent wind chime that hung from the roof. The piece was also recently featured at the Satellite Gallery in downtown Huntsville in April.

“I was really excited to win,” Pregeant told the Huntsville Item. “I hope to show the progression of my work at other venues in the future.

“Since my childhood, I’ve had a relationship with inanimate objects,” she said. “I tried to reinvest my feelings in those objects. I remember my mother had wind chimes at home, but I never looked at wind chimes as a sound-producing thing. I looked at them as an object so I chose to make them without sound.”

Art department chair Michael Henderson also told the Huntsville Item that he’s proud of both Pregeant and the three other students and alumni whose work represented the department in the show. They included senior art majors Amber Eggleton and Elise Weber, as well as recent graduate Justin Zachary.

“It's great that our students are willing to put their work out to be judged against the work of professional artists by a professional art curator,” he said.


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Registration Deadline Approaches For Family Weekend

Families who want get into the Sam Houston State University spirit, while learning about campus traditions, must register by Aug. 25 for this year’s Bearkat Family Weekend, scheduled Sept. 12-14.

The weekend will allow families to experience all that SHSU has to offer, showing families what makes SHSU so great, according to Chelsea Smith, assistant dean of students for parent relations and special programs.

Bearkat Family Weekend logoFriday activities will include campus tours; a pep rally for the Saturday evening football game, featuring head football coach K.C. Keeler; and an open-air carnival, featuring games and crafts for parents and children, alike.

Saturday’s festivities will include more campus tours and open houses; a Parents’ Association meeting; field day activities; lunch; a classic car cruise-in; a tailgate party; and the football game versus Colorado State Pueblo.

Finally, Family Weekend will wrap up on Sunday with an interdenominational Christian worship service.

“Family Weekend is always a special time for students, families and our campus,” Smith said. “It is a time where we all come together to spend quality time with one another, meet new people and have fun. It’s also a great way to showcase departments, organizations and highlight all the great things that go on at Sam Houston State.”

Registration for Bearkat Family Weekend is $10 per person, including SHSU students, which includes a T-shirt, a welcome gift, continental breakfast, a catered lunch, tailgating, and the classic car show.

Football tickets must be purchased separately or in advance through the Athletic Department at gobearkats.com.

For more information on Bearkat Family Weekend, Huntsville accommodations, or for the full schedule of events, contact the Dean of Students’ Office at 936.294.1785, doso@shsu.edu, visit shsu.edu/~slo_www/weekend, or “like” “Bearkat Family Weekend” on Facebook.


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Study Finds Online Bullying Creates Off-Line Fear At School

Cyberbullying creates fear among students about being victimized at school, a recent study by Sam Houston State University found.

young man sitting at a computerWhile traditional bullying still creates the most fear among students, cyberbullying is a significant factor for fear of victimization at school among students who have experienced bullying or disorder at school, such as the presence of gangs. The fear from cyberbullying is most prominent in minority populations, according to Ryan Randa, assistant professor of criminal justice.

“It cannot be overstated—online victimization has offline consequences, and those consequences may have a number of negative effects for students, including fear of victimization,” he said.

Randa’s study was based on a survey of more than 3,500 students from ages 12-18 from across the nation.

The students were asked questions about bullying and cyberbullying, including whether hurtful information about them were posted on the Internet or if they had been insulted or threatened by email, instant messaging, text messaging or online gaming programs. Students were also asked if they had been excluded from online friends or buddy lists.

About 7 percent of the students in the survey said they had experienced cyberbullying, while 29 percent said they were the victims of traditional bullying.

Cybercrime is any behavior performed through digital or electronic media by individuals or groups that repeatedly communicate hostile or aggressive messages intended to inflict harm or discomfort on others.

Studies have shown that bullying and cyberbullying may lead to such consequences for victims as decreased academic performance, diminished perceptions of safety, depression, anxiety, reduced self-esteem, self-harm, emotional distress and suicidal ideation.

The study was published in the Security Journal at palgrave-journals.com/sj/journal/v26/n4/index.html.


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Book Chronicles Assassinations, Violence Against Congress

Will OliverOn the heels of a book on assassinations and attempts on the lives of U.S. presidents, criminal justice professor Willard Oliver’s newest book explores the assassination of seven Congressional members since the national body was created in 1789, as well as major assassination attempts against Congress or its members.

“Killing Congress: Assassinations, Attempted Assassinations, and Other Violent Acts Against Members of Congress,” coauthored by Nancy E. Marion, of the University of Akron, also examines other acts of violence against Congress, including “caning” incidents in the 1700s and 1800s, anthrax scares in 2001 and public physicals assaults of sitting members of Congress.

“Although it has happened very infrequently, there have been acts of violence perpetrated on members of Congress because of their policy positions or statements,” Oliver said. “The violence has ranged from spitting and shoving, to punching, assaults, fights, and even death. So, while the president of the United States is often the focal point of the assassin’s wrath, members of Congress have not been excluded from such vituperative attacks.”

The book documents the assassination of members of the Congressional delegation, including the actions that led up to the violence and the repercussions of the event.

Congress caning
In the 1700s and 1800s, Congress settled their disputes by caning. —From “Killing Congress: Assassinations, Attempted Assassinations, and Other Violent Acts Against Members of Congress"

These include Arkansas Rep. James Hinds, who was killed by a member of the Ku Klux Klan in 1868; Alabama Rep. Thomas Haughey, who was shot while making a political speech in 1869; Texas Rep. John Pinckney, who was assaulted and killed during a political event in 1905; Louisiana Sen. Huey Long, a presidential nominee who was assassinated in his home state a month after announcing his candidacy in 1935; Massachusetts Sen. Robert Kennedy, who was shot while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968; California Rep. Leo Ryan, who was ambushed during a trip investigating a religious cult in Guyana in 1978; and Georgia Rep. Lawrence McDonald, who was shot down while on Korean Air Line Flight 007 by the Soviet military in 1983.

The book also delves into two recent major assassination attempts, including the 2011 attack on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in a supermarket parking lot while meeting with constituents in an attack that left six dead and 17 wounded.

The book was published by Lexington Books and is available at lexingtonbooks.com/ISBN/9780739183601.


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Staff Council Spotlights Associate Athletic Director

Thompson posing with students and coaches
Athletics coaches and student-athletes rally around Chris Thompson (in orange shirt) when she was presented the Staff Spotlight "goody box" in July. —Submitted photo

Chris Thompson, associate athletic director for student services for athletics and senior women’s administrator, was selected as the Sam Houston State University Staff Council June “Staff Spotlight.”

Thompson has worked in the SHSU Athletics Department for 33 years, 16 of which were as the head tennis coach and 17 of which have been in her current position, for which she oversees the student-athletes and assists Athletic Director Bobby Williams with department operations.

She also teaches the freshman NCAA student-athletes life skills class and courses in the kinesiology program.

“The experience of working with 400 student-athletes a year, while developing a bond and rapport, establishes relationships for life,” she said.

As someone who values community service (which she has demonstrated by serving on “too many (committees) to count over 33 years”), Thompson said she is proud of the service component she works to integrate into the lives of the student athletes.

“The department collects more than 300 pounds a year of pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House at M.D. Anderson; and we assist in the H.I.S.D. BackPack Buddies program, for which, every Friday, we deliver food bank prepackaged bags to Sam Houston Elementary,” Thompson said. “The Bearkat Mentor Program has been in place for 33 years and allows student-athletes to mentor at-risk children in the elementary schools.

“These are just a few of the programs I have established for our department staff and student-athletes,” she said. “I am always coming up with many things for the benefit of the student-athlete and department.

“I just love what I do because it is for the student-athletes.”

Thompson is married to Robert Thompson, a professional golfer and Bearkat alumnus who has had a very successful college/professional career.

She and her husband are the only couple that has been inducted into the Bearkat Athletic Hall of Honor—Robert, for golf, and Chris, for tennis and as a coach and administrator.

The two have a son, Kyle, who attends Texas Lutheran University, where he follows in his mother’s footsteps as a tennis player and is double majoring in international studies and international business, with a minor in Spanish.

“Our family time together is special, with travels around the world, with Robert’s golf and Kyle's tennis in the states,” she said. “I caddy for Robert on tour, when time permits. My life and interests are based around sports—the family events and Sam Houston athletics.”


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Today@Sam Seeks Fall Calendar Info

The university Communications Office is now collecting information on campus events for its 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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