Today@Sam Article

Update For Week Of April 19

April 19, 2015
SHSU Media Contact: Tammy Parrett





Hoyt Recognized As ‘Powerful,’ ‘Influential’ Woman

SHSU President Dana Hoyt was recently recognized as one of the “2015 Texas Most Powerful and Influential Women” by the National Diversity Council on April 16 at the 2015 Texas Diversity and Leadership Conference in Houston.hoyt

With the “Most Powerful and Influential Women” award, the National Diversity Council honors women who have overcome barriers to reach the top and not only achieve personal success, but have made it possible for others to more easily follow in their footsteps.

Hoyt became SHSU’s 13th president and first female president in 2010, and she has successfully integrated SHSU’s mission into strategies that support an enduring vision. 

Under her direction as president, SHSU has increased admissions standards for freshmen, seen enrollment records surpassed each year, and opened a new campus in The Woodlands.

The university also has been named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service and Service Learning; ranked high among colleges with low student debt; and been named a “Great College To Work For” for five consecutive years.


Back to top 


Alumni Association To Host ‘SHSU Day At The Races’ with Faculty, Staff

SHSU’s Alumni Association will host the inaugural SHSU Day at the Races on Saturday (May 2) at the Sam Houston Race Park.

The event will kick off at noon, when the SHSU section opens in The Winner’s Circle Restaurant, where guests can enjoy an all-day buffet during the races. The first race will begin at 1 p.m., and activities will continue with the Race Park Hat Contest at 3 p.m. The Kentucky Derby race will begin at 5:30 p.m., bringing an end to the night around 6 p.m.

“This is the first time we’ve hosted a Day at the Races for our alumni, faculty and staff,” said Donna Gilbert, assistant director of marketing and membership for Alumni Relations. “Alumni Association events provide an avenue for Bearkats to come together to network and have fun.” 

Tickets are available for $50, which includes entry into the park, an all-day buffet in The Winner’s Circle Restaurant and two drink tickets.

Reservations must be made by April 27, and limited seating is available.

For more information, contact the Alumni Association at 936.294.1841.


Back to top


‘The Fashion Show’ To Showcase Student Collections 

SHSU’s chapter of the NAACP, Unit 6816, will host its annual fashion show on Thursday (April 23) at 6:30 p.m. in the Johnson Coliseum.

The event, titled “The Fashion Show” or #TSF15 on social media, is a student-run production designed to highlight SHSU alumni and undergraduate entrepreneurs in the fashion industry by allowing them to showcase their collections.

This year’s event will feature new lines from outfitters such as Banana Republic, Free People, TopShop, and Altru State.

In the past, the event has showcased student designs such as “Choose Life,” “Courtney’s Closet” and “Deola Designs.” 

“We anticipate a great show and we’re working hard to present an impeccable production to the community,” said Najee Jenkins-Smith, creative director of SHSU’s chapter of the NAACP. 

Tickets are $7 in advance and $12 at the door.

For more information, contact Jenkins-Smith at


Back to top


Symposia To Commemorate Lecture Series Anniversary 

Michael MaxfieldTo celebrate the 50th anniversary of the College of Criminal Justice and its prestigious Beto Chair Lecture Series, the college will offer a day of symposia with Michael Maxfield, professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and SHSU faculty to discuss the past, present and future of research in the field of criminal justice on Friday (April 24) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

The event’s scheduled activities will begin at 9 a.m. with a Beto Chair keynote speech presented by Maxfield, titled “Evidence Generation: Evaluation Partnerships with Community-based Justice Organizations in New York City.”

Maxfield is the author of numerous articles and books on topics such as victimization, policing, homicide, community corrections and long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect. 

Following Maxfield’s keynote speech, faculty from the College of Criminal Justice will share their thoughts on the evolution of the field over the last five decades during a series of sessions including “Historical Perspectives of Development of a Knowledge Base,” “What We Know With Reasonable Confidence,” “What We Most Need To Know,” and “The Most Critical of What We Need To Know–Explaining the Crime.”

For more information, contact Beth Kuhles, publications coordinator for the College of Criminal Justice, at 936.294.4425.


Back to top


Workshop To Give Crash Course On Credit

Many students begin college with no experience in managing a budget and are expected to maintain full smmc flyerfinancial responsibility for the first time in their lives.

With no guidance, students may look at credit cards and see a short-term solution, without realizing the long-term effects.

SHSU’s Student Money Management Center is teaming up with Student Legal Services to help students understand how credit cards can help or hurt their budget, before it’s too late with a “Credit Crash Course” workshop Wednesday (April 22) from 6-7 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

The workshop will enhance students’ knowledge of credit cards and examine the pros and cons of having them.

Students who attend three or more events will be entered into a drawing for one of two $400 scholarships.

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

Admission to the event is free.

For more information, contact SMMC program coordinator Andrea Rabon at 936.294.2602.


Back to top


Artists To Embrace Outside ‘Persona’

personaThe SHSU Student Satellite Gallery will host the work of two students in “Persona: Two Artists Explore What It’s Like To Be Everybody Else” from April 23-25. An opening reception and gallery talks will be held Thursday (April 23) from 6-8 p.m., with the gallery talks beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The exhibit will feature the works of senior art students Victoria Monsalvo and Krystal Murray, who have collaborated on a number of pieces working in both photography and video.

“Persona” captures the idea of creating persona and performing an act for the camera, according to Murray.

Together, Monsalvo and Murray question the roles and the expectations asked of a young woman. By placing themselves in a quandary of sensuality and naivety, the artists invite the audience to think about whether the work should be viewed from a male gaze or female perspective.

The SHSU Student Satellite Gallery is located at 1216 University Ave., in downtown Huntsville. 

For more information on the exhibit, contact Murray at


Back to top


Exhibit To Showcase Graphic Design Works 

Graduating seniors who are focusing their studies on graphic design will showcase the culmination of their work at Sam Houston State University in an exhibition Monday through Thursday (April 20-23) in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

A reception will be held Thursday (April 23) from 6-8 p.m. in the gallery.

The show will include a range of graphic design work including posters, package design, corporate identity, digital publications, illustration, and more. 

“This is a great opportunity to see what SHSU graphic design students are doing, and to see the kind of work that doesn’t often find itself displayed in an art gallery,” said Rebecca Finley, associate professor of photography.

Senior designers who will be presenting their work include Emily Barrow, Katie Bledsoe, Brittney Butler, Kari Cook, Brittany Crowson, Haley Dolive, Amanda Garza, Taylor Guest, Cori Gurka, Michelle Kitchens, Jackson Mahlke, Ashton Miller, Kayla Nowocin, Drake Preston, Melissa Randolph, Brianna Smith, Alyssa Williams, Sarah Wright, and Kimberly Young.

The exhibition is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the SHSU Department of Art at 936.294.4311.


Back to top


Organization Receives Student Service Award

SHSU’s chapter of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology recently received the USITT-SW Don J. usitt membersChilds Student Service Award for excellence in student service at the 2015 USITT National Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Students representing “USITT@SHSU” earned the award for their hard work and dedication to serving others at the regional symposium at Texas A&M University in January. The students arrived to the conference early to volunteer with set-up, and continued to volunteer throughout the conference while still presenting their work and attending workshops, according to costume shop supervisor April Keith.

“We are extremely proud of our students because this is the first time this award has been awarded to an organization versus just one individual student,” said Keith.


Back to top

Students Compete In Second Annual Art Song Competition 

Sam Houston State University’s School of Music recently hosted its second annual SHSU Art Song Competition on April 12 in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center, during which student vocalists and pianists teamed up to perform pieces that highlighted their collaboration.

winnersThe final round of the competition featured five teams of finalists who competed for scholarship prizes. Myra Merritt, professor of voice and opera at Bowling Green State University, and Danny Kelly, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Prairie View A&M University, served as judges for the event.

First prize was awarded to the team of vocalist Sarai Villatoro and pianist Daniel Contreras, who each received $1,000 in scholarships. Senior vocal performance soprano Villatoro and senior music major Contreras performed H.T. Burleigh’s “The Jungle Flower,” Hugo Wolf’s “Er ist’s,” and Alfredo Catalani’s “Ebben ne andro iontana.” 

Graduate students Albert Donze and Sarah Ray were awarded the “Judges Prize,” with each student also receiving $1,000 in scholarships.

Other winners included Jake Averitt and Pablo Martinez, Bailey Turner and Mihai Vacta, Isabella Pallavicini and Denisa Micliuc, and Ivy Cantu and Mihai Vacta.

“Everyone who heard the performers in this competition were not only impressed with the technical skill displayed, but also deeply moved by the artistry, collaborative commitment and diversity of presentation given by each team,” said Wayne Barrett, associate dean of SHSU’s College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication.


Back to top


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 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

- END -

This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office:

Director of Content Communications: Emily Binetti

Communications Manager: Mikah Boyd
Telephone: 936.294.1837

Communications Specialist: Campbell Atkins
Telephone: 936.294.2638

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to