Today@Sam Article

SHSU Update For Week Of Jan. 11

Jan. 6, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Tammy Parrett




Leadership Organization Inducts 67 Members

New InducteesSam Houston State University’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success recently inducted 67 new members into the organization.

The National Society of Leadership and Success was founded in 2001 to build a community of like-minded, success-oriented leaders who come together to help one another succeed. Today, the society has chapters on more than 475 college and university campuses nationwide and serves more than 450,000 members.

Prior to induction, prospective members must complete a leadership program consisting of an orientation, a leadership-training day, three speaker broadcasts and networking team meetings, and an induction ceremony where they receive their Certificate of Leadership Training. 

Students must be classified as a sophomore or junior and maintain a GPA of 2.8 to be eligible for membership. Once a member, students receive access to benefits such as scholarships and awards, invitations to exclusive on-campus events, access to an online job bank, and discounts on computers, textbooks, graduate school prep courses, and insurance.

“We’re very proud of our members,” said Meredith Conrey, chapter adviser. “The society has had a significant impact on our campus, inspiring our students to become better leaders, and helping them build a better future for themselves, the campus, and their respective communities.”

Since the SHSU chapter was established in 2008, more than 430 students have been inducted into the society.

For more information on the National Society of Leadership and Success or how to join, contact Conrey at 936.294.3602.


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Prof Appointed To National Board

Melinda TascaMelinda Tasca, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at Sam Houston State University, was recently appointed to the American Society of Criminology Division of Corrections and Sentencing Executive Board.

Tasca will serve as the secretary/treasurer of the board. The DCS was established in 1999 to facilitate and encourage research on juvenile and adult corrections; to disseminate research to ASC members, practitioners, funding agencies, policy-making boards, corrections and sentencing organizations, and other relevant entities; to help form collaborative research groups within common areas of study; and to promote corrections and sentencing related sessions for ASC.

“Not only does this accomplishment demonstrate Dr. Tasca’s dedication to professional service outside of the university, it denotes her growing reputation across the country as a recognized corrections scholar,” said Gaylene Armstrong, chair of the SHSU Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Tasca’s research centers on correctional policy, the consequences of incarceration, as well as race/ethnicity, gender and crime. As reflected in her scholarly work, Tasca has expertise in mixed methods as well as extensive experience studying vulnerable family systems. Tasca's work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, and SHSU’s Enhancement Research Grant Program.

“As a junior faculty member, I am honored to be able to serve the DCS,” said Tasca. “I value service and want to prosper and support the important work being done in the area of corrections and sentencing.”


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Ruffin Receives Positive Review For Upcoming Book

Paul Ruffin, Texas State University System Regents’ Professor and Distinguished Professor of English at Sam Houston State University, recently received a positive review for his upcoming book, “The Time the Waters Rose: And Stories of the Gulf Coast” from Kirkus Reviews.

The book is comprised of eight stories set in and around the Mississippi coast, with the title story being an exception.

According to the review, “it’s a loose and irreverent retelling of the story of Noah building the ark, from the perspective of one of his neighbors, who isn’t terribly thrilled with the idea of dying in a flood. Given the casual tone in which the story is narrated, there’s more than a little rural America here—Scripture reimagined as a kind of barroom tall tale.”

“The Time the Waters Rose And Stories of the Gulf Coast” is published by The University of South Carolina Press and will be available for purchase on Feb. 1.

The full review is available at

It is available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


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Council Spotlights Administrative Coordinator For December

Evelyn TurnerThe Sam Houston State University Staff Council has selected Evelyn Hasouris-Turner, administrative coordinator for SHSU Online, for its December “Spotlight on Staff." 

Hasouris-Turner came to SHSU 20 years ago and has worked in many departments across campus, including agriculture/education, Correctional Management Institute of Texas, Texas Research Institute For Environmental Studies, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences, with an emphasis in interior design, in 2008.

In her role as administrative coordinator, she is responsible for purchases, travel, reimbursements and budgets for SHSU Online and enjoys contributing her decorating skills when necessary.

She has served on numerous committees, including Staff Council, the special events committee, the IRB committee, and the Texas Jail Association committee.

Hasouris-Turner has a son, Matthew Powledge, special teams/running back coach at SHSU, and two daughters, Alexis, a senior at SHSU, and Demi, a sophomore at the University of Alabama. 

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to support Demi at softball games, working out, fostering stray animals, and educating others on the positive effects of essential oils.

“I try to be the best for our department and our university,” she said. “There are days when you don’t want to get up and show up, but it’s when we don’t give up that we succeed in this world.”


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Hendrickson Appointed Interim Dean

Ken HendricksonKen Hendrickson, associate dean in Sam Houston State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, has been selected to serve as interim dean of the College of Health Sciences, effective Jan. 15.

Hendrickson will serve in the position vacated by Michael LaCourse, who will begin his tenure as provost for Dixie State University, in St. George, Utah, in February.

Hendrickson joined the SHSU faculty in the history department in 1994 and was named full professor in 2007. He also served as interim chair of the department from 2009-2010.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Texas A&M University and his doctorate from the University of Iowa.


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President To Speak At Annual Celebration

Sam Houston State University President Dana G. Hoyt will join local communities in commemorating the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in an annual celebration on Jan. 18 in The Woodlands. 

Hoyt will deliver a commemorative tribute to King at the 28th annual commemorative celebration, held at The Woodlands United Methodist Church. 

The celebration is sponsored by Impact Church of The Woodlands.

Tom Abrahams, news anchor for ABC 13, will serve as master of ceremonies. 

The Woodlands United Methodist Church is located at 2200 Lake Woodlands Drive.

For more information, contact The Woodlands United Methodist Church at 281.297.5900.


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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.

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