Today@Sam Article

SHSU Update For Week Of Aug. 28

Aug. 28, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Tammy Parrett




Local Businesses To Bring ‘Bearkat Mania’ To Campus

Huntsville area businesses and organizations will head to Sam Houston State University to chat with students about the services they provide, as well as hand out goodies, for Bearkat Mania on Wednesday (Sept. 7).

The KSAM-FM and 104.9 The Hits radio-sponsored event will bring booths set up in Bearkat Plaza from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. that will provide great opportunities for all Bearkats, according to Steve Everett, general manager of KSAM and The Hits.

“This event is the only such experience where local businesses can set up to familiarize new and existing students, along with faculty and staff, with their products and services,” he said. “Bearkats can ‘sample their wares,’ meet new people and gather a bagful of free giveaways, including a valuable coupon card.”

The free event will include representatives from local eateries, auto care, banks, shopping entities, and churches.

“It’s a great opportunity to build bridges between SHSU and the rest of the community,” he said. “Students also can be exposed to potential employers, building personal and professional relationships.”

Attendees also can register for free door prizes, participate in promotions, and sample foods, as well as pick up one of 5,000 free coupon cards that include discounts from participating sponsors.

KSAM-FM and 104.9 The Hits will broadcast live throughout the event.

“This is a great partnership effort between KSAM radio and SHSU and it’s a great experience for Bearkats and businesses,” Everett said. “We are proud to be sponsored by the Student Activities each year and to work hand-in-hand with the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity for this event.”

For more information, contact Everett at 936.295.2651.

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SMMC To Help Students ‘Unravel The Mystery’

tablesmmcAs the semester begins, the Sam Houston State University Student Money Management Center is hosting a series of workshops that will “unravel the mystery” of their fee statement, financial aid package and refund on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (Aug. 30 through Sept. 1) at 3:30 p.m. in the Student Services Annex Room 129.

“Through these sessions, we are going to work with each student to analyze the charges and payments applied to their student account,” said SMMC director Patsy Collins. “It’s important for students to ascertain whether the charges are accurate and how they will be paid.”

Because many students are unaware of the factors that affect the amount they pay per semester–such as the number of hours they’re taking, what dorm they choose to live in and what meal plan they choose–Collins hopes these sessions will provide students with the information necessary to make smart financial choices.

“After we break down that side, we’re going to look at the various types of payments that are applied, such as scholarships, loans, grants, cash and credit cards,” Collins said. “We’ll help students on a payment plan assess how the remainder of the balance can be paid.”

At the end of each session, there will be a drawing for a $250 scholarship. Students must have an active Bearkat OneCard and must be registered to attend.

Snacks and light refreshments also will be provided.

For more information or to register, contact the SMMC at 936.294.2600.


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SHSU Food Pantry Moves To Larger On-Campus Location

Sam Houston State University’s Food Pantry is moving to a new location on campus, making it more accessible to SHSU students.

The SHSU Food Pantry is now located in Academic Building III Room 113B. It previously was located at the Canterbury House on University Ave. 

“We want the Food Pantry to be seen as part of SHSU, as an initiative that is backed by the entire SHSU community,” said Candice Wilson, First-Year Experience program coordinator. “Moving to an on-campus location will enhance the identity of the pantry as an SHSU program. Because the space is larger, we’ll be able to install refrigeration units that were provided by the Center for Community Engagement and a grant from Entergy.  These units will allow us to expand our offerings to include foods like fresh produce.”

The Food Pantry will distribute food to students on Sept. 8 and 26, Oct. 13 and 31 and Nov. 10 and 28, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

In order to utilize the distribution days, students must submit their food request forms the night before each distribution date. They also should bring their Bearkat OneCards.

In an effort to introduce new students to the program, the Food Pantry will host a block party on Wednesday (Aug. 31) at 6 p.m. in the Farrington Building parking lot.

Students, faculty and staff interested in volunteering for the Food Pantry should attend an informational meeting on Tuesday (Aug. 30) at 5 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Room 307. Those interested in donating food can leave donations at drop off locations across campus.

For more information, visit or contact Wilson at 936.294.2231.


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Professor To Preview International Concert 

Josu de Solaun, assistant professor of piano in the School of Music at Sam Houston State University, will provide audiences with a sneak preview of an upcoming recital on Wednesday (Aug. 31) at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. 

The recital will serve as a preview for his upcoming recital at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest.

The program is comprised of Robert Schumann’s Davidsbundlertänze Op. 6; Johannes Brahms’s Three Intermezzi Op. 117; Schumann’s Toccata in C major Op. 7; and Frédéric Chopin’s Impromptu Op. 36, Nocturne No. 1 Op. 62, Scherzo Op. 39, Ballade Op. 52, and Fantaisie Op. 61.

The concert will end with Richard Wagner’s “Isoldens Liebestod.”

De Solaun has performed as a soloist with many international orchestras, including the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra of Saint Petersburg, Venice’s Orchestra Filarmonica della Fenice, Czech Radio Orchestra of Prague, Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, Bucharest Philharmonic, New York’s American Ballet Theater Orchestra, and Spain’s National TV and Radio Orchestra. He also has performed at the prestigious George Enescu Competition in Bucharest, Romania, where he received the first place prize.

As a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music in New York, De Solaun studied for 12 years under pianists Nina Svetlanova and Horacio Gutierrez, as well as chamber musician Isidore Cohen. 

As a collaborative artist, he has worked alongside Mark Nuccio, associate principal clarinetist of the New York Philarmonic; Amaury Coeytaux, concert master of the Orchestre Philarmonique de Radio France; pianists Andre-Michel Schub and Lydia Artimiw; and Metropolitan Opera soprano Catherine Malfitano, among many others.

The recital is free and open to the public.

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


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Math Academy Helps Teachers Succeed 

MathAcademy2016The Math Academy at Sam Houston State University recently provided a professional development experience to elementary school math teachers from Huntsville ISD and other districts with the Summer Math Institute.

The program, which is funded by a teacher quality grant, prepared 24 fourth, fifth and sixth grade educators to teach foundational concepts of numerical representations and relationships using concrete and pictorial models for whole numbers, fractions and decimals.

The intense two-week session substantially increased teachers’ content knowledge and skills for teaching rational numbers. Instructors also modeled high-yield instructional strategies such as facilitating classroom discourse, using effective questioning strategies and using reviews of student work to adapt instruction, according to program assistant Amy Collins.

"Participants were introduced to a framework of effective mathematics teaching practices, engaged in practical teaching scenarios, and gained strategies for questioning and practices for formative assessment,” said associate professor of math Dustin Jones. “Several participants commented that this was the best workshop they had ever attended because of the relevance to their daily work and the expertise of the presenters.”

Participants were instructed by several SHSU faculty members, Jones; Mary Swarthout, associate professor of mathematics at SHSU; and Victoria Hollas, assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. They also were instructed by Terry Goodman, professor emeritus of mathematic education from the University of Central Missouri, and Lydia Klespis, elementary math coach at Huntsville ISD.

“There are three main components to the Math Academy,” Collins said. “We want to offer them professional development in mathematics content and instruction, as well as in instructional strategies such as facilitating mathematical discourse. We also want to provide them with a supportive network of peers, mentors and coaches that will help them to succeed.”

The project staff hopes to host a 2017 Math Academy at SHSU next summer, pending funding.

For more information on the Math Academy at SHSU, visit


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Student Awarded National Congressional Internship

alvincasimereSenior criminal justice student Alvin Casimere will be surrounded by history this fall in the hallowed halls of the U.S. Congress.

Casimere was one of 30 students selected nationwide for an internship with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Leadership Institute for Public Services, which helps develop the next generation of minority leaders in public service at the federal level.

During his internship with a member of Congress, Casimere will learn how to identify a problem in the community, understand the complexities of the issue, find resources to address the challenge, and develop solutions. This may include drafting a sample bill, fact sheet, or policy brief or participating in community service projects, team events, or activities.

Casimere was awarded a full academic scholarship to Abilene Christian University to study criminal justice, where he was on the football team. In spring 2014, he transferred to SHSU and hopes to pursue a career in criminal law.

Since coming to SHSU, Casimere has networked with many campus officials and taken advantage of the programs that SHSU had to offer. He has been active in the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice and the Exceptional Men of the Talented Tenth, Inc.


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Lyons Teaches Community Policing In El Salvador

PhillipLyonsInsideFor the last seven years, Phillip Lyons, dean of the Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice, has been working with law enforcement officers in Central America to teach them the basics of community policing as a strategy in their efforts to combat gang violence plaguing the region.

Under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State, Lyons works with the St. Petersburg College’s Center for Public Safety Innovation in Florida and the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador to deliver week-long courses on an “Introduction to Community Policing” and “Community Policing: From Theory to Practice.”

He has taught police officers from Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, but for the last several years he has worked exclusively with officials from El Salvador–currently the homicide capital of the world, largely as a result of gang activity.

“If we can change the way police approach and conceptualize their communities, we do have an opportunity to affect change,” said Lyons. “The chief reason I like working in El Salvador is that in the U.S., community policing is so advanced with capable, competent, and caring officers and lots of resources, whereas in a place like El Salvador, which has so much poverty, a little investment in training and technical assistance goes a long way.”

Lyons served as Executive Director of the Texas Regional Center for Policing Innovation, one of about 17 centers in the country that was funded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services to provide training and technological assistance to local police agencies. The Central American project is part of an effort by the U.S. Department of State to support democratic policing in the region and combat the MS-13 and other gangs that began with immigrants who settled in Los Angeles but were deported and send back to their homeland. 

“When the community does not have water or sewer systems, it is hard to engage people in collaborative policing,” Lyons said. “When the people are surrounded by homicides and are concerned just with their daily safety, it is hard to get them involved. And when poverty and limited economic opportunity forces parents to leave their children behind to find work in another country, the kids need to belong to someone, so gangs fill the void.” 

Because of collaborative partnerships created by community policing, police can become a catalyst for efforts to improve communities, by doing things such as collecting trash, building roads, and establishing water systems. To combat gang problem, police are targeting students in danger of dropping out of school and trying to make schools safer for those who remain.


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