Today@Sam Article

SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 19

Oct. 16, 2015
SHSU Media Contact: Tammy Parrett



Assistant Chief To Get ‘Real’ For Lecture Series

Laurie ChristensenLaurie Christensen remembers the day she fell in love with firefighting and the adrenaline it gave her. She was working alongside her supervisor to put out her first fire with the Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department, and as her supervisor raced outside to grab a new hose, Christensen found herself manning the nozzle.

Christensen, who received her master’s degree in criminal justice leadership and management from Sam Houston State University, currently serves as the assistant chief of operational support services at the Harris County Fire Marshal’s office. She will return to SHSU on Tuesday (Oct. 20) as part of the College of Criminal Justice’s Real Talk /CJ series, at 2 p.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

As assistant chief, Christensen is responsible for ensuring that the office complies with all federal, state and county rules and regulations related to law enforcement and fire safety. 

During her presentation, Christensen will discuss her career in the fire marshal service, as well as the numerous job opportunities available in the field.

Christensen began her career in the Simpson Paper Mill, where she joined the company’s emergency response team, which handled incidents involving worker injuries, fires and chemical leaks.

She joined the Harris County Fire Marshal’s office in Nov. 2004, and 10 months later, she found herself in the middle of one of the biggest recent disasters in the Houston region–the overwhelming influx of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.

Soon after she entered the Astrodome, ready to help the 72,000 evacuees who had made their way to Houston for safety, Christensen was named the Logistics Section Chief to help feed, clothe, protect and serve the thousands who came through the doors of the Astrodome.

The event is free and open to the public. 

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


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Workshop To Assist Students With New Scholarship Program

flyerWhen many students begin looking at scholarships, they may feel discouraged by the lengthy or confusing application process. This year, Sam Houston State University implemented a new program, Scholarships4Kats, which simplifies the application process.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and the Student Money Management Center will team up to show students the basics of Scholarships4Kats on Wednesday (Oct. 21) at 6 p.m. in the Student Services Annex Room 129.

The workshop will teach students how to navigate the program, as well as assist those who are interested in filling out the application.

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 available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Admission to the event is free with an active Bearkat OneCard. Students seeking assistance filling out applications must bring their laptops, or let the SMMC know in advance if one is needed. 

For more information, contact the SMMC at 936.294.2600.


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Event To Raise Awareness About Blood, Tissue, Bone Marrow Donations

As the excitement from the Battle of The Piney Woods dies down, SHSU students will have another opportunity to compete with Stephen F. Austin University with the inaugural “We Are Bigger Than The Battle” Donation Awareness event.

Both schools will team up with Donate Life Texas, Be the Match, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, and Huntsville Memorial Hospital, as well as Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility, SHSU’s Student Legal and Mediation Services, Student Health Center, the College of Health Sciences, and the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College to raise awareness about blood, tissue and organ donations through a blood drive and informational tables set up in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

SHSU’s main campus will hold a blood drive on Nov. 9-10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with locations in the Lee Drain Building and the Counseling Center Conference Room.

A blood drive also will take place at The Woodlands Center on Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in a donor coach.

“This will be a great opportunity for people to not only donate blood and register as bone marrow and organ donors, but to also learn about different types of donations, what being a donor means and how their donations can help others,” said Margaret Mitschke, senior accounting major and coordinator for the event.

“While we may technically be competing against SFA to raise awareness, there is no real loser, as long as people have access to accurate information and an opportunity to help those who desperately need these donations,” she said.

For more information, contact Mitschke at or 936.294.1717.


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Annual Gala To Honor Distinguished Alumni

Four SHSU alumni who have made names for themselves in business, the NFL and politics, and two alumni whose service to their alma mater and their communities is distinguished in itself, will be recognized at the 43rd Distinguished Alumni Gala on Friday (Oct. 23) at 6 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

Those who will be honored during dinner include Distinguished Alumni Carolyn Chipman Faulk, Stan Blinka and Cindy Marion; Outstanding Young Alumna Ashley Etienne Stephens; and Service Award recipients John Peltier and Alan Tinsley.

“The annual Distinguished Alumni Gala is the signature event for the Alumni Association and the university each year,” said Charlie Vienne, director of Alumni Relations. “It is an honor for the Alumni Association to host and recognize our best and brightest, and we encourage alumni and friends to come and support this great event and help us honor these outstanding graduates of Sam Houston State University.”

The gala will begin at 6 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Gallery with a cocktail reception, followed at 7 p.m. with a dinner and program in the ballroom. 

Individual tickets are $100 per person, and the deadline to reserve a seat is Oct. 20. 

For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 936.294.1841 or go online to


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RSC To Welcome Students Back With Grand Re-Opening Event

flood damage in the RSCEarlier this year, the SHSU Recreational Sports Center fell victim to the flooding that ravaged campus; as water rushed into the building, four inches of mud crept into the pool’s filter system, and the facility was closed indefinitely as crews worked to restore the various areas of the building that suffered major damage.

To celebrate construction coming to an end, the RSC will host its Grand Re-Opening on Wednesday (Oct. 21) from 4-6:30 p.m. at the RSC. 

Activities scheduled include a log-rolling demo in the RSC Pool, a wallyball tournament, spikeball, slacklining, and free climbing, as well as hang off, pull up and hot shot competitions. Students are should bring swimsuits to participate in the log-rolling demo.

Students will be encouraged to post photos of themselves doing the various activities with the hashtag #activebearkat to be eligible for a free T-shirt, in addition to other prizes.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Keith Jenkins, director of Recreational Sports. “The facility plays such an important role in the university community, so we wanted to throw this event to let people know that yes, we were down and out, but now we’re back in business! For students who came to campus after the initial flood, they’ve never known the facility to be open, so we’re excited for them to be able to come out and see what all we have to offer them.”

Admission is free with an active Bearkat OneCard.

For more information, contact the RSC at 936.294.1985.


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Polish Guest To Discuss European Forensic Science Techniques

Waldemar Krawczyk, director for the Central Forensic Laboratory of the Police in Warsaw, Poland, will discuss the techniques used by European countries to share DNA and fingerprint data to fight illegal migration in a special presentation on Tuesday (Oct. 20) at 9 a.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

Krawczyk’s presentation also will examine how these techniques are being used to protect the Schengen Zone, which is an area encompassing 26 countries in Europe where border lines and controls have been eliminated.

Poland has the longest defensive border on the eastern end of the Schengen Zone; therefore, sharing information among Schengen Zone nations on issues such as asylum status or criminal history of migrants is vital to the security and safety of the region.

In addition to his position with the CFLP, Krawczyk is a founder of the International Training Center for Combating Clandestine Laboratories, the only European training center for police officers and forensic experts in the area of illicit drug production, where the representatives of 42 countries from Europe and Asia have trained.

The event is free and open to the public.

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


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Texas Review Press Author To Be Featured At Annual Book Festival 

Sarah CortezAward-winning Houston poet Sarah Cortez recently appeared as a featured author at the 2015 Texas Book Festival in Austin.

Cortez’s most recent book, “Goodbye Mexico: Poems of Remembrance,” was published by the Texas Review Press earlier this year and is an anthology of original poems that answers the question, “What do you remember about Mexico?”

“Being chosen a featured author at the Texas Book Festival is a high honor,” said Cortez. “I’m proud to live in a state that values readers and authors, then goes out of its way to provide support and platforms for recognition.”

Cortez’s first publication with Texas Review Press came in 2012, with her “unusual memoir that combined prose and poetry,” “Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston,” according to Paul Ruffin, director of the Texas Review Press and Texas State University System Regents’ Professor.

“My close relationship with Texas Review Press has allowed my creativity to flourish by bringing ground-breaking projects from conceptualization to publication,” said Cortez. “Each of my books for this internationally acclaimed press has won and been short-listed for multiple awards.  I am deeply grateful for Dr. Ruffin’s unwavering support.”

Cortez will release her latest publication, “New & Selected Poems,” with Texas Review Press in fall 2016.


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Studio Recital To Present Modern, Baroque Repertoire

Students from SHSU’s cello studio will perform a variety of pieces that are rarely heard on Monday (Oct. 19) at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The recital will feature performances by student musicians Jonathan Villegas, Daniela Arevalo, Daniel Veliz, Roechelle Torres, Sara Bravo, and Daniel Schultz, as well as guest artist Marshall Davies.

Students will perform repertoire ranging from the Baroque to Modern eras, including Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Suite No. 1 in G Major for Solo Cello,” Radames Gnattali’s “Sonota For Cello and Guitar,” Camille Saint-Saens,’ Op. 33, “Antonin Dvorak’s Op. 104, and Robert Schumann’s Op. 129. 

“This recital provides an excellent opportunity to hear sonotas, suites, and concerto classics for cello, as well as some pieces that are rarely heard performed live,” said Daniel Saenz, assistant professor of cello.

The event is free and open to the public.

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


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Student To Share ‘Voice’ With Book Signing

book coverSam Houston State University senior marketing major Chris Holmes will hold a book signing on Wednesday (Oct. 21) at 10 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

“Just Another Black Voice” is Holmes’s second book of poetry, which focuses on various topics including love, inspiration, black culture, and religion, as well as highly controversial topics.

His first book, which he published when he was in high school, is titled “100 Testimonies of a Young Soul” and shares the stories and experiences he learned from his family as a young boy through poetry. 

“I like to look at every day as a new opportunity to learn and do something great,” Holmes said. “I am just blessed with the opportunity to express what I learn through my writing.”

“Just Another Black Voice” will be available for purchase at the event. 

For more information on Holmes or his work, visit his website at


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