Today@Sam Article

SHSU Update For Week Of Nov. 16

Nov. 13, 2015
SHSU Media Contact: Tammy Parrett




Programs To Promote Sexual Health Awareness

Get Yourself Tested LogoThe Health and Wellness Education Office will bring licensed therapist Delphi Medina to campus on Monday (Nov. 16) at 3:30 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Room 320 to discuss “Sex and Social Media.”

Medina will discuss the 10 sexual compulsive behaviors outlined by Patrick Carnes, expert in addiction therapy.

She will also talk about the role that websites, apps and sexting contribute to the behavioral addiction and the negative effects of their usage.

In correlation with “Sex and Social Media,” the Health and Wellness Education Office will offer students the opportunity to check their HIV and syphilis status through the fourth annual Get Yourself Tested program.

Testing, offered on Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 17-18), in conjunction with the Texas Department of State Health Services, will be provided for free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days in Recreational Sports Center Multi-Purpose Room No. 3, while supplies last. 

“Both of these tests will be done with one blood draw,” said Lisa Clarkson, SHC programming coordinator. “That means only one stick with the needle, but two tests.”

Nearly half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections each year occur among sexually active individuals ages 18-24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Many times, sexually transmitted infections show no signs or symptoms, so we encourage students to know their sexual health status, as well as their partner’s,” said Clarkson. 

“We try to eliminate barriers to students getting tested, so they won’t have to swipe their Bearkat OneCard or identify themselves to the university in any way to ensure that their experience remains a private one,” she said. 

Testing will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Students will be contacted directly by the Texas Health Department within two weeks after testing only if the results are positive, according to Clarkson.

The event is free and open to all students. 

For more information, contact Clarkson at 936.294.4347 or visit


Back to top


Alumnus To Share Experience In Immigration For Series

Jesse WilliamsJesse Williams II, an SHSU alumnus and assistant field director of enforcement and removal operations for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas, will share his experience in the criminal justice field on Wednesday (Nov. 18) as part of the College of Criminal Justice’s Real Talk w/ CJ series, at 2 p.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom. 

In his position as assistant field director, Williams oversees three programs in the Austin, Del Rio and Waco areas that target fugitives, criminal aliens and violent criminal aliens.

He also serves as supervisor of the special response team for the region, a unit trained to serve high-risk warrants under hazardous conditions and assist local law enforcement agencies during critical incidents.

The ERO is charged with enforcing immigration laws in a fair and effective manner and focuses their efforts on convicted criminals, fugitives, those who pose a threat to national security, and recent entrants.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice SHSU and his master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University, Williams began his career as a border patrol agent in the San Diego section before serving as a state trooper with the California highway patrol in the El Cajon office.

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


Back to top


Recital To Showcase Classical, Contemporary Tunes

Students enrolled in associate professor of violin Javier Pinell’s chamber music class will showcase their talent in a recital on Monday (Nov. 23) in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The recital, beginning at 7:30 p.m., will feature a variety of masterworks written or string and woodwind combinations, ranging from classical to contemporary periods.

Students will perform in small ensembles consisting of two or four players.

“This is an excellent opportunity to enjoy the wonderful repertoire written for this genre,” said Pinell. “We had a very strong chamber class this semester, and we are excited to showcase their talent in this recital." 

Admission to the recital is free and open to the public.

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


Back to top


‘Dancing With The Kats’ To Promote Diversity

Participants of Dancing With the KatsStudents from different backgrounds and organizations will take the floor in the inaugural “Dancing With The Kats: Havana Nights” on Monday (Nov. 16) at 7 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

The event–sponsored by Bailamos Latin Dance Organization, Omega Delta Phi, The Talented Tenth, and Zeta Tau Alpha–will pair students from various student organizations, who will compete for a mirror ball trophy, similar to the one awarded on the television show “Dancing With The Stars.” 

Each pair of students was assigned a choreographer who has been teaching them their routine.

“We hope that this event will create unity amongst the many diverse organizations and cultures that are represented at Sam Houston State University,” said Kerrie Hall, Bailamos Latin Dance. “Dance is the sole universal language that unites everyone, regardless of race, sex or religion. It closes the gap that is created by language and cultural barriers.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit each of the organizations’ respective philanthropy.

Tickets are $5, if purchased before the event, or $7 at the door.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact or 832.427.0224.


Back to top


Seminar To Encourage Students To ‘Lead’

If one were to walk into any college classroom and announce to students that they will have to complete a group project, the chances that they will respond with a collective groan are very high.

However, the ability to work effectively in a group in the classroom, as well as a professional setting, is an important skill for every student.

The SHSU Center For Leadership and Service will explore effective group development techniques in its third “Learning to Lead” workshop of the semester on Monday (Nov. 16) at 4 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Room 304.

The presentation, led by Max Walling, associate director of Leadership Initiatives, will focus on Tuckman and Jensen’s Stages of Group Development, a model that has been used extensively to describe the process that teams go through when developing as a group.

It also gives insights into how to work with others on one’s team in each of the stages of group development, the challenges one might face, and how to overcome them and move to the next stage.

“Working with others is something that is almost inevitable in college and in the professional world,” said Sarah Hagler, graduate assistant for service programs. “The ability to do this effectively is especially important and is something that students should be mindful of as they progress through their educational career.”

The event is free and open to all students.

For more information, contact the CLS at 936.294.1633.


Back to top


Prof Addresses Child Abuse During Separation In New Study

Brittany HayesMothers who separate from their abusive partners are four times more likely to report threats to take or harm their children than those who stay in the relationship, according to a new study by Brittany Hayes, assistant professor of criminal justice at Sam Houston State University.

“Indirect Abuse Involving Children During the Separation Process,” published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, found that victims of intimate partner violence continue to suffer from abuse after separation, but few recognize the indirect abuse of children during the process. 

“When we look at the separation process, we know that women are at an increased risk of violence and sexual assault,” Hayes said. “But we need to keep an eye out for other forms of abusive behavior that are not as obvious.”

Although separation may provide additional avenues for abused women in the legal process, it may lead to new avenues of exploitation through child custody issues. Courts rely on “the best interest of the child” standards, which recommend joint custody unless there is evidence of child abuse. The current system makes it hard to balance the safety of the abused victim with the custody and visitation rights of the father. 

Therefore, the study suggests it is important for child custody workers to screen for child abuse that extends beyond physical violence, such as the abuser encouraging negative beliefs among the children, undermining the mother’s authority, or using the children to frighten the mother.

“There is still much work that needs to be done on improving services for those involved in a child custody case where there is a history of intimate partner violence,” Hayes said.

The study can be found at


Back to top 


French Honor Society Inducts Nine

The Eta Iota chapter of Pi Delta Phi recently initiated nine student members into the national French honor society during its annual ceremony. 

Holly Kons, president of SHSU’s chapter of Pi Delta Phi, and Karent Torres, vice president, conducted the ceremony, which inducted Jonathan Barbara, Deanna Butler, Evan Elder, Diego Ibarra, Morgan Meyers, Allyson Portillo, Lillie Scales, Kelsi Steelhammer, and Lemmis Stephens III into the national honor society. 

Pi Delta Phi is dedicated to recognizing outstanding scholarship in French, increasing the knowledge and appreciation of French-speaking cultures around the world, and stimulating and promoting the study of Francophone cultures, according to faculty adviser Shirin Edwin.

In order to be inducted as a regular member, students must have taken at least 18 hours of French, maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 and have a minimum 3.0 GPA in French.

For more information on SHSU’s chapter of Pi Delta Phi, contact Edwin at 936.294.4732.


 Back to top


Doctoral Student Earns Best Paper Award

Alicia JurekAlicia Jurek, doctoral student in Sam Houston State University’s College of Criminal Justice, was recently awarded the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Student Paper by the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association.

Jurek’s paper, “Police Agency Response to Human Trafficking,” is an empirical assessment of the creation of specialized human trafficking units in American police departments. Based on a national random sample of 300 agencies with 100 or more employees, Jurek found 13.7 percent of these agencies have adopted specialized units to address human trafficking. 

“Alicia’s paper was the culmination of hundreds of hours of work,” said William King, associate dean of research and program development for the College of Criminal Justice. “She doggedly assembled data from her own surveys and from secondary sources to address the issue of how human trafficking is addressed by local police agencies in the U.S.” 

Jurek’s study was based on organizational theory, including how changes in the organizational environment and how well females were represented in the department influenced the creation of human trafficking units.

The Midwestern Criminal Justice Association is a regional organization affiliated with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Its purpose is to foster communication and collaboration among criminal justice researchers, academics and practitioners.


Back to top 


Council Spotlights Library Assistant For November

Dianna KimThe Sam Houston State University Staff Council has selected Dianna Kim, library assistant for technical services, for its November “Spotlight on Staff.”

Kim joined the Newton Gresham Library staff in 2013, where she performs collection management and bindery duties, which involves the maintenance and preservation of materials.

She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in library science at SHSU. Prior to relocating to Huntsville, she worked as a prosecutor in the Rochester city attorney’s office in Minnesota.

“I think that being committed to what I do and approaching my tasks with a positive attitude is a great motivator for others,” Kim said. “I always try to be friendly and encouraging. I believe that a smile goes a long way.”

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and watching documentaries, reading biographies and listening to music. She has an 8-year-old son and serves as a room-mother at his school.

She has also volunteered with the March of Dimes for 25 years and looks forward to participating in the annual March for Babies event each year.


Back to top


Today@Sam Seeks Experts, Story Ideas

Are you an expert in a topic might be of interest to reporters? Or even a unique topic? Would you like to have your research interests highlighted or discuss your expertise with reporters seeking interviewees?

The university Communications Office is collecting information and story ideas for its ongoing projects, including the online SHSU Experts Guide, the SHSU home page and Today@Sam. 

The SHSU Experts Guide was established as a resource for the media, who turn to university experts lists for potential interviewees for news stories. Faculty who are interested in being a part of the university's database of experts can submit their biographical and personal information, as well as their areas of expertise, through the Experts Guide Submission Form available online at

Other story ideas, both news and features on faculty or student research and accomplishments can be sent to or For news stories, please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

All information, including news 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. Feature story ideas for the SHSU home page ("sliders") should be sent a minimum of two months in advance.

To see a full list of the Today@Sam submission guidelines, or to access submission forms for news and feature stories or hometown releases, visit

For more information, call 936.294.1836.

- 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