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SHSU Update For Week Of March 23

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President’s Speaker To Discuss ‘Rocky,’ Filmmaking Experience

Academy Award-winning motion picture director John Avildsen will share his experiences in Hollywood creating some of his most famous films when he visits the Sam Houston State University campus on March 25.

John AvildsenThe spring President’s Speaker Series presentation will begin at 11 a.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.

The program will focus on various aspects of Avildsen’s filmmaking, including the showing of excerpts from films that have marked milestones in his career such as “Rocky,” “The Karate Kid,” “Save the Tiger,” “The Formula,” and “8 Seconds.”

Avildsen’s films have had a wide range in their subjects, but many bear his well-known signature for underdog films.

In 1976 he won the Academy Award as “Best Director” for “Rocky,” and the academy nominated him for a “Best Documentary Film” award in 1983 for “Traveling Hopefully.”

In addition, “Rocky” and “The Karate Kid” are among the all-time highest grossing films in U.S. box office history.

Earlier that day, from 9:30-10:15 a.m., Avildsen will participate in a book signing of “The Films of John Avildsen,” which covers his career and was co-written by Tom Garrett, SHSU associate professor of film. The book signing, which is also open to the public, will be in the Lowman Student Center Atrium.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase in the adjoining University Bookstore.

Avildsen’s appearance is being produced in conjunction with the students of Priority One, a course within the university’s Department of Mass Communication.

He will be joined onstage for the discussion by SHSU President Dana Gibson and Peter Roussel, Warner Chair of Journalism.

Admission to the event is free and it is open to the public.

For more information, contact Charlene McWilliams, director for university events, at 936.294.3415.


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Artist To Share Experience For Juror Talk

The man charged with judging student artworks for entry in the 15th annual Juried Student Exhibition will discuss his own ideas on art during a juror lecture on Monday (March 24).

headshot Heyd Fontenot
Artist and CentralTrak director Heyd Fontenot will select the student pieces that will compose the 15th annual Juried Student Exhibition juror. He will also give a lecture on Monday (March 24). —Submitted

Heyd Fontenot, director of the Dallas-based CentralTrak, an international artists' residency program and exhibition space, will speak about his artistic practice and professional experience from 5-6 p.m. in Art Building E Room 108.

“Fontenot is a well-respected artist and arts administrator on a regional and national level,” said Annie Strader, assistant professor of art. “We felt that his perspective would be a valuable resource to our students and that he would bring in a fresh perspective to campus.”

While on campus, Fontenot will view and select the artworks that will compete for prizes for the 15th Annual Student Juried Exhibition, scheduled March 31 through April 11 in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery. A reception and awards ceremony for the exhibit will be on April 3, from 5-7 p.m. in the 3G.

“This opportunity allows the students to have their work reviewed by an arts professional outside of the faculty, which is a special opportunity while you are still a student,” Strader said. “As an artist, you want to have your work seen by as many people as possible and in developing a career it's especially important to have respected artists, curators and art writers view your work.

“This is a process that students will continue to practice as artists once they graduate, so it's great experience to have while in school,” she said.

Fontenot has taken on many artistic roles throughout his career, including designer, art director, production designer, producer, filmmaker, scenic artist and muralist, working with theater companies, retail businesses, software and media production companies.

In the 1990s, Fontenot produced a significant body of work as an experimental filmmaker, a period he has said was crucial to his growth as an artist and continues to inform his work as a painter.

"Filmmaking helped me craft a vocabulary that I continue to draw upon in painting, allowing a particular sensibility for assembling images and creating mise-en-scene," he has said.

Fontenot is an active exhibiting artist who is represented by Conduit Gallery in Dallas and by Inman Gallery in Houston.

A three-time Texas Biennial artist, his work was most recently included in the 2013 Texas Biennial Anniversary Exhibition in August and September.

For more information on the juried exhibit or juror talk, contact Strader at 936.294.1322.


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Grad Students To Give ‘Nuanced’ Performance

SHSU graduate dance students Alicia Marie Carlin and Travis Cooper Prokop will examine the subtle differences in people’s ideas about the meaning of our daily lives through their thesis dance concert, March 28-29.

“Nuance” will be presented at 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theater.

Incorporating aerial dance silks and alternative stage lighting, “Nuance” intimately comments on our experiences with life, trust, relationships, and loss, according to Prokop.

With the inherent human understanding of gravity and its implications in mind, Carlin’s work comments on the obstacle-ridden labyrinth of life, as her choreography explores the ways in which people navigate different pathways in an effort to create beauty, despite the things that hold them back.

“Using aerial apparatus as a tool for story-telling, it is my hope to create images of the steady strength essential to moving through the complexities with grace,” Carlin said. “Climbing is a constant struggle with gravity but once we learn to trust it and learn to think with our hearts, we will always feel the sweet support it offers.”

Prokop’s work “shines light through contemporary dance on the choices we make when it comes to trusting one another,” with his choreography exploring the trust we may or may not have in others, our experiences or ourselves.

“The degree of trust we have for someone or something severely influences the meaning we give to and take away from that experience,” he said.

“Nuance” was created in partial fulfillment of the Master of Fine Arts degree in dance.

Admission is free.

For more information, call the GPAC Box Office at 936.294.2339.


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Faculty Quintet To Showcase Brass Music

Faculty musicians will perform a variety of music, from classical to contemporary works, during the Sam Houston Brass quintet concert on Monday (March 24), at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The program will include a series of “fun” masterworks by German and Austrian composers.
“We pride ourselves on being entertaining as well as musical,” said Sam Houston Brass member Peggy DeMers, professor of horn. “We like to have fun with music, and we like our audience to have fun as well.”

The first work on the program is Samuel Scheidt’s “Centone No. 5,” composed in 1621 and arranged by Verne Reynolds, which includes five selections that represent both secular and sacred works.

“This piece is a masterwork in the brass repertoire, which displays both technical and musical virtuosity,” DeMers said.

“Music for Brass” by Ingolf Dahl, composed in 1944, “reveals many of Dahl’s techniques and musical nuances,” according to DeMers.

“The piece opens with a ‘Chorale Fantasy’ on the traditional Lutheran crucifixion hymn ‘Christ Lay in the Bonds of Death,’ also used in J.S. Bach’s cantatas ‘BWV 4,’” DeMers said.

Finally a suite by Joseph Horovitz composed at the request of the well-known American tuba player Roger Bobo will be presented.

"Music Hall Suite for Brass Quintet" has become a regular repertoire piece and recorded as well as broadcast all over the world. It consists of five movements, all illustrating aspects of the Burlesque Theatre, Music Hall, circus and cabaret, according to DeMers.

"The five orchestral brass instruments (two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba) are exploited in a chamber music manner, but the cumulative effect has a theatrical quality in keeping with the title," she said.

The Sam Houston Brass quintet includes Randy Adams and Steve Warkentin, on trumpet; DeMers, on French horn; Ben Osborne, on trombone; and Robert Daniel, on tuba.

The quintet was created as part of the School of Music’s artistic and educational outreach to perform classical music for the University and community of Huntsville.

Admission is free.

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


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Brass Concerts To Feature Guest, Student Quartets

Concerts by two quartets will highlight the largest and lowest-pitched instruments in the brass family.

The UNT Euphonium Choir posing with their instruments
The UNT Euphonium Choir

The University of North Texas Euphonium Choir will kick off the concerts on Wednesday (March 26), at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The quartet is comprised of graduate students Chris McGinty, Irving Ray, Danny Chappa and Vince Kenney, all of whom are currently studying under Brian Bowman, brass coordinator at the University of North Texas.

“Each member of the group strives to make music at the highest level, which has led to numerous opportunities to compete and/or perform in both national and international competitions, conferences, and auditions,” said Henry Howey, SHSU euphonium professor.

In addition, members have been finalists of or winners at a series of competitions held across the country.

On Sunday (March 30) SHSU’s Student Tuba Quartet will feature a variety of music spanning music history in a recital beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall.

The program will largely feature contemporary works, written specifically for tuba and euphonium chamber ensembles, by John Stevens, as well as arrangements of works from 16th century Renaissance composers, such as Jacob Arcadelt and Claude Gervaise, and a work from the late Baroque period by Johann Sebastian Bach.

“We've chosen our program with the simple idea of having a wide variety of exciting styles of music that everyone can appreciate, yet still presenting the resounding beauty and endearing charm that's characteristic of our instruments,” said Nathan Wood, a senior music performance major and quartet member.

The Student Tuba Quartet comprises Alex Harrison and Nicholas Gale, playing tuba, and Wood and Luis Blas, playing Euphonium.

The quartet is the “brainchild” of Harrison, who decided to come together with the three after they “had a terrific time performing popular Christmas tunes in the lobby of the Gaertner Performing Arts Center for the holiday gala last December,” Wood said.

“That was a unique experience for the four of us, so of coarse we're hugely excited for our recital this semester,” Wood said. “The origin of our quartet is simply the result of our desire to create music and enhance our learning experience as musicians.”

Admission to both performances is free.

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


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Center To Help Students Budget For ‘End Times’

When the end of times comes, the Sam Houston State University Student Money Management Center will make sure students are prepared.

SMMC posterThe center will go over life-saving, emergency-preparedness techniques that “will allow you to outwit and outlast even the best doomsday preppers” on Monday (March 24), during its Apocalypse Prepping workshop.

The “once-in-a-lifetime” presentation will be from 6-7 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

“Apocalypse Prepping” is the brainchild of SMMC peer counselor Adam Bell, who will discuss emergency preparation techniques and how to budget for the necessary supplies.

“He outlines the types of supplies necessary to survive in an emergency and examples are given regarding the cost of emergency supplies,” said SMMC director Patsy Collins. “The workshop underscores the idea that planning for emergency situations is necessary and should be included as a part of a student’s budget.”

Pizza and drinks will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students are encouraged to e-mail smmc@shsu.edu if they plan to attend to ensure there is enough food.

For more information, contact the SMMC at 936.294.2600.


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Sociology Club To Host Information Session

The Sociology Club and Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society will invite students to learn about its activities and the benefits of being active with their organizations on Tuesday (March 25) for their free pizza informational.

The groups will meet at 3:30 p.m. in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room 210.

The Sociology Club and ADK are involved on campus in community service, scholarship activity, and networking.

Students of any major can participate in the Sociology Club, which “is an action-oriented organization dedicated to the ideals of service and scholarship,” according to club president Shannon Lowry.

“We do one large service project every semester, which is quite successful, and in the past, we have raised supplies for SAAFE House and pet supplies for the Rita B. Huff animal shelter,” she said.

“The Sociology Club offers valuable resources both during students' undergraduate years and also as they progress toward graduate school, and the job market,” Lowry said. “We provide opportunities to join our honor society, AKD; build their resume; scholarship opportunities; job openings; advice and information about graduate school; the chance to connect with the sociology professors; and much more."

AKD is an International Sociology Honor Society for which members must be classified as at least a junior and have a 3.0 grade point average to be accepted.

“The Sociology Club and AKD function as one in the same in most regards, but with additional benefits for those in AKD—which provides opportunities and, in some cases, funding for those interested in presenting sociology research regionally, as well as getting to wear honor cords during graduation,” Lowry said.

For more information, contact Lowry at sxl022@shsu.edu.


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Roberts Named President Of Texas Mediator Group

Gene Roberts, director of Student Legal and Mediation Services at Sam Houston State University, has been elected the new president of the Texas Association of Mediators.

Gene RobertsTAM is a multidisciplinary organization established to provide leadership and education in the field of mediation. It is the largest professional organization for mediators in Texas.

Roberts became TAM president on Feb. 21 during the organization’s annual conference in Austin. In 2013, he was selected by a nominating committee and elected by the membership to become president-elect for 2013.

In one of his first steps as TAM president, Roberts called the board of directors to Huntsville for a retreat.

“I’m honored to be selected as the president of TAM, and I’m glad that our board will meet in Huntsville for our board retreat,” he said. “The board is excited to visit Huntsville and SHSU and to engage in a meeting that will determine the strategy and direction for TAM’s future.”

Roberts has been involved with TAM since 2007, serving on its board of directors and as the co-chair for its annual conference in Dallas in 2013.

He has more than 15 years’ experience as counsel representing clients in litigated cases.

In his role as director of Student Legal and Mediation Services, Roberts provides legal counsel and mediation advice and training to SHSU. Mediation is a process to resolve conflict amicably through the use of a neutral, the mediator.

His philosophy—as a private attorney and as SLMS director—is “to help individuals understand their rights and responsibilities, comprehend the complexities of the legal system, and develop a proactive and productive strategy for the situation they face,” he said.

His experience with TAM, as well other professional organizations, equips Roberts to provide SHSU students with essential information that helps the students in their current situations and educates them with the tools to handle situations on their own in the future.

In addition to his leadership role with TAM, Gene also serves on the State Bar of Texas’ Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council and the Walker County Bar Association as its CLE Director.


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Staff Council ‘Spotlights’ Education Secretary

A Photograph of Janie JoyceJanie Joyce, secretary for the College of Education’s department of educational leadership and counseling, has been recognized by the Sam Houston State University Staff Council as its March “Staff Spotlight.”

Before working with the EDLC department, Joyce worked with the Office of Alumni Relations, as secretary from 1992-1995, and with the Alumni Association of Sam Houston State University, as an administrative assistant from 1980 through its merging with SHSU in 1992.

Joyce received the SHSU “Staff Excellence Award” in 2010 and the Alumni Association’s “Service Award” in 1998.

Her on-campus service has included being on Staff Council from 2007-2009 and on the SHSU Women's Advisory Committee from 1992-1993 and 1996-1997.

Joyce also is involved in the community, serving on the Huntsville Leadership Institute and, previously, with the Huntsville/Walker County Chamber of Commerce in 2004. She is also a Lifetime Member of the Walker County Fair Association.

Joyce has been married to her husband, Gary, for 21 years.

She said she works to motivate others by trying to be a positive influence with her co-workers.


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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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