Today@Sam Article

SHSU Update For Week Of Aug. 24

Aug. 19, 2015
SHSU Media Contact: Tammy Parrett



SHSU To Host International Trumpet Competition

competition posterThe world’s best up-and-coming jazz trumpet players will converge at Sam Houston State University on Saturday (Sept. 19) to compete for $15,000 in prizes during the 2015 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, hosted by the SHSU School of Music and The International Trumpet Guild, in cooperation with support from the Herb Alpert Foundation.

With top contenders hailing from around the globe, five young finalists will strive to craft the most creative solos in exciting displays of virtuosity and artistry during the competition’s final round in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center. Serving as judges for this year’s competition are three of today’s most well-known jazz trumpet performers: Bobby Shew, Clay Jenkins and Ingrid Jensen.

“Based on our proposal, SHSU was selected from among an international pool of applicants to host this prominent event,” said Amanda Pepping, adjunct trumpet instructor at SHSU. “The Caruso Competition is the most prestigious jazz trumpet competition in the world and takes place every two years, attracting outstanding emerging jazz trumpeters from around the world.”

The competition will include a full schedule, including a morning master class about Carmine Caruso presented by Ingrid Jensen at 10 a.m., the afternoon competition with five finalists performances accompanied by the University of North Texas faculty jazz trio from 1-4:30 p.m., and the gala concert featuring finalists, judges, the Sam Houston All Star Big Band and awards/prize presentation beginning at 7:30 p.m. 

First held in 1993, The Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition is considered the most important competition for jazz trumpeters. Carmine Caruso was one of the world’s greatest brass teachers, and the competition is dedicated to him and his work.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit


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Workshop To Help Students ‘Gear Up For College’

For many students, their first year of college is the first time they’re completely responsible for themselves, whether that means keeping a budget or doing laundry and cooking on their own.

SHSU’s Student Money Management Center will guide students on the path to financial stability early in their college careers with “Gearing Up For College” on Wednesday (Aug. 26) from 6-7 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

“This program is important to our students because being new to life in college is an extremely stressful experience in itself,” said Matthew Alvarez, financial peer counselor for the SMMC. “If we, as the SMMC, can help them gain financial independence and give them the tools needed to take away the financial stress and succeed on their own, then we have succeeded as a center.”

Students who attend three or more SMMC 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 at 936.294.2600. 


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Wagner To Share Health Tips At Book Signing

book cover Getting HealthyWith the scrutiny and controversy surrounding law enforcement officials higher than ever, Matthew Wagner, associate professor of kinesiology, understands that the profession is becoming more stressful than ever, and that it is important to have the necessary skills to manage stress and combat the health issues that can adversely affect their longevity and job performance.

That’s why he teamed up with author Joe Serio to write “Getting Healthy: 50 Lessons on Fitness For Law Enforcement,” dedicated to providing solutions to the health issues that can adversely affect longevity and job performance.

Wagner will hold a book signing Tuesday (Sept. 1) at 5:30 p.m. at the Huntsville Memorial Hospital Center For Rehabilitation.

The book is divided into 50 short, easy to read lessons that focus on a different aspect of health and fitness. Although it is meant for police officers and other law enforcement officials, Wagner says it’s something that everyone can benefit from.

“Even though it’s a book designed for police officers, it’s something that everyone struggles with regardless of occupation,” he said.  “These chronic health issues affect everyone, so whether you’re in law enforcement or not, it certainly can’t hurt to know these lessons.”

The book will be available for purchase at the event for around $15.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Wagner at 936.294.1163.


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New Scholarship Software Selected, Namedgroup

Students interested in applying for scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year at Sam Houston State University will have an entirely new experience, thanks to the university’s new scholarship software launching this semester.

The software, aptly named “Scholarships4Kats,” was chosen by a committee appointed by President Dana G. Hoyt to evaluate the current scholarship process. This committee was tasked with surveying students and administrative users on their experience with the current program, ScholarX.

After speaking with students and administrators who use ScholarX, the committee quickly noticed the frustrations with the system, according to Amy Wilson, scholarship coordinator for the department of financial aid and scholarships. 

Student frustrations with ScholarX stemmed from a complicated 10-page application, decreasing the number of students who applied to scholarships to less than 20 percent. Scholarships4Kats has simplified the application process by asking only the 10 most important questions for the applicant.

“We are excited to wrap this project up and hear the feedback from students, faculty and staff,” said Wilson. “Change is not always welcomed, but we hope that this change will be recognized as a good change.”

Names were solicited from the division of Enrollment Management and top eight names were submitted to the faculty and staff in charge of managing scholarships across campus. “Scholarships4Kats” was submitted by Greg Monteihl, Career Services specialist, who received a $25 gift card to Margarita’s for his contribution.


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Counseling Center Receives ‘Top 100’ Recognition For Artwork

Sam Houston State University’s “Emerald Castle,” located in the William Powell Health and Counseling Center, was recently recognized as a “Top 100” artwork by CODAworx. 

The CODA awards recognize the best work demonstrating successful integration of commissioned art into interior, architectural and public spaces. Entries are evaluated on the integration of artwork into the project and the strength of the collaborative process among commissioners, designers and fabricators of the work.

“The cascade evokes falling leaves gently blowing in the breeze,” said Debbie Goldgar, art consultant with Art+Artisans. “The piece was designed to create a soothing, calming effect for students entering the facility.”

Prior to the opening of the center, the committee in charge of choosing art for the building teamed up with Art+Artisans Consulting of Austin to find a suspended artwork for the lobby.

Because the center serves a wide variety of physical and mental health needs for a large student body, the committee was looking for a piece that would provide a calming and aesthetic presence that alluded to nature, according to the website.


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Roberts Named Course Director For Law Seminargene

Gene Roberts, director of Student Legal and Mediation Services, was recently named course director for the State Bar of Texas’s 14th annual Alternative Dispute Resolution Continuing Legal Education seminar.

As course director, Roberts is responsible for assembling a group of ADR professionals to guide the development of the course, as well as to act as the presiding officer at the seminar.

“We put together an extraordinarily diverse group of professionals representing ADR practitioners from across the state,” Roberts said. “We have put together a series of distinguished panelists who will share their knowledge on best practices so that attendees can learn from those who have proven successful.”

The seminar will cover a variety of topics, including ethical issues in a mediation practice, ethical issues in an arbitration and considerations in beginning an ADR practice. 

“Being part of the SHSU community has given me the unique ability to combine academic and practical platforms,” he said. “At SLMS, we not only provide legal services, but mediation services to our students to help them resolve conflicts.

“It’s a great honor to be selected by one’s peers for any professional opportunity, especially the entrustment of a premier training opportunity for attorneys across the state. With this course, we’re taking some new approaches and looking at dispute resolution from a variety of different perspectives.”


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Texas Review Press Wins Big With Multiple Accolades

It’s been a good summer for the Texas Review Press, with a number of its books receiving positive reviews with publications across the country. 

“The Southern Poetry Anthology Volume V: Georgia,” edited by William Wright and Paul Ruffin, director of the Texas Review Press and Regents’ Professor recently was selected as “A Book All Georgians Should Read” and  “A Children’s Book All Young Georgians Should Read” by the Georgia Center for the Book.

“The editors of this anthology have indeed performed their duty well, for it is a garland of flowers, beautiful and more multicolored than anyone might have imagined, and a most wonderful way to spend some afternoons and feel the earth made new again," Leon Stokesbury wrote in the introduction of the anthology.

“The Enemy Within Never Did Without,” edited by associate professor of history Jeffrey L. Littlejohn and Charles H. Ford, also received a positive review from The Mexia News, and Lyn Lifshin’s works, “Barbaro: Beyond Brokenness,” “The Licorice Daughter: My Year With Ruffian” and “Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle,” have been praised by The Saratoga Special.

Tom Williams’s “Among The Wild Mulattos and Other Tales” received a positive review from NPR Books for his “brash, gutsy writing.” 

“Identity, both racial and otherwise, is at the heart of nearly all the stories in ‘Among the Wild Mulattos,’ a manic, cutting and frequently hilarious collection from Kentucky author and academic Williams,” Michael Schaub wrote. “He's an uncompromising writer with a fiercely original voice, and he's created one of the most unforgettable books of the year.”


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Council Spotlights Staff Psychologist For Augustannie mathew

The Sam Houston State University Staff Council selected Annie Mathew, psychologist for Counseling Services, for its August “Spotlight on Staff.”

Mathew joined Counseling Services two years ago as a staff psychologist, and has taught two undergraduate psychology courses.

She was born and raised in India and came to the United States to pursue her doctoral degree from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology.

“In my profession, we have to be empathic, warm, problem solvers, and listeners, and we have to balance those traits quite efficiently,” Mathew said. “I hope my department would say that I create a place for honest conversations and seek out unity and harmonious hearts, and always act as a voice or advocate for those who may not have been seen or heard." 

Her family and faith are the most important things in her life and motivate her each day.

“My faith gives me energy, hope, centeredness and calls me to be compassionate, genuine and walk in excellence in my journey of life,” Mathew said. “My family motivates me to be better and instills faith in faith in me that I can influence people in small ways.”

She enjoys being a part of the community and spending time volunteering at various school functions with her daughters. Her passion for serving others carries over into this aspect of her life, as she seeks opportunities to serve students and teachers, as well as other local organizations, such as the Hospitality House. 

In her free time, she enjoys meeting new people, spending time with family, hiking and reading.


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