Today@Sam Article

Update For Week Of Feb. 21

Feb. 19, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Tammy Parrett




Parents' Association Night To Connect Parents, Students 

parents associationSam Houston State University’s Parent Relations Office will team up with the Department of Athletics to provide families with an opportunity to bond over basketball at Parents’ Association Night on Saturday (Feb. 27) at Johnson Coliseum.

The men's and women's basketball teams will take on Texas A&M Corpus Christi during the event.

The Parent Relations Office partners with the community of family members of SHSU students to encourage academic achievement and personal development by fostering healthy relationships between the university, parents, family members and students, according to program coordinator Kalyn Cavazos.

“College can be difficult for both parents and students, many of whom have never been apart for such long periods of time,” said Cavazos. “This special event, along with other initiatives in the Parent Relations Office, provides an opportunity for parents to be able to stay plugged into their child’s life while they’re at their home away from home.” 

Admission is free for students, and parents can receive discounted tickets by using the promotional code “parents” when ordering tickets.

Tickets can be ordered online at or by calling the Johnson Coliseum Box Office at 936.294.1729.

For more information on the Parents Association, visit the Parents Association Facebook or contact Cavazos at 936.294.2347.


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Dance Concerts To Examine Communication, Emotion

Graceless graceTwo Sam Houston State University Master of Fine Arts candidates in the dance department will present “Graceless Grace” on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 26-27) at 8 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theater.

The evening will feature two separate concerts, choreographed by Mirannda Lindberg and Tawnya Kannarr and performed by students in the dance department.

Lindberg’s concert is titled “When Reflections Scream, Silence is Queen” and will focus on the performer’s struggles with anxiety and depression.

“The concert is interlaced with a dance for camera that slowly reveals the progression and degenerations of the dancer's mental state, and each separate piece exemplifies an idea revealed in the video,” Lindberg said. “It is a bit autobiographical, as it touches on several issues I have dealt with throughout my life.” 

Kannarr’s show, entitled “My Soul Speaks,” uses movement to showcase the different layers that make up one’s soul.

“The soul is made up many different layers, such as strength, loss, anger, hopelessness, hopefulness, peace, and determination,” Kannarr said. “It is a combination of these layers that make a person, and through these emotions, we communicate with one another.”

The research behind Kannarr’s show focuses on the levels of communication and how those varied levels impact the creative process.

“I chose these topics because for me, vocal communication is not my first and most comfortable form of communication, movement is,” Kannarr said.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Kannarr at or Lindberg at


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Symphony Orchestra To Give ‘Revolutionary’ Performance

Sam Houston State University’s Symphony Orchestra will perform on Saturday (Feb. 27) at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. 

The group will be joined by two SHSU School of Music faculty, associate professor of violin Javier Pinell and adjunct violin instructor Naomi Gjevre, who will perform as violin soloists.

The symphony orchestra will perform Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Overture to Fidelio” and Symphony No. 8, as well as Jordan Grigg’s “Concerto Semplice.”

“Beethoven's music stands on the cusp of the Classical and Romantic eras, and there is no oath composer who broke the rules of classical traditions in the way Beethoven did,” said Jacob Sustaita, assistant professor of music. “To say he was a ‘bad-boy’ is putting it mildly. His music, and particularly his symphonies, are revolutionary in every possible way, but one doesn't have to know much about music history or analysis to experience the grandness and ‘revolutionary’ quality of his music.”

SHSU’s symphony orchestra is comprised of 65-85 music and non-music majors who audition for a seat in the orchestra each year, according to Sustaita.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for senior citizens.

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


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Students Encouraged To ‘Thank a Donor’

Thank a Donor!Sam Houston State University’s Annual Giving Office will invite students to participate in the annual “Thank a Donor Day” on Wednesday (Feb. 24) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

Students will have the opportunity to sign thank you cards and send shout-outs to alumni and friends who have made financial contributions to the university.

“Sam Houston wouldn’t be what it is without their generous contributions, and many students probably don’t realize how much donors actually give to the university,” said Meggan Thompson, assistant director of annual giving. “This event gives students the opportunity to show their appreciation.”

T-shirts will be given to the first 100 participants.

For more information, contact Thompson at 936.294.2401 or


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Workshop To Help Students With FAFSA Deadlines

Sam Houston State University’s Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will host a FAFSA Workshop on Tuesday (Feb. 23) from 4-6 p.m. in the Dan Rather Communications Building Room 205.

“We’ve been collecting data during our peak times over the past few semesters to determine what type of students are coming to see us,” said Brandi Jones, assistant director of financial aid and scholarships. “We found that the majority of students coming in to the office are continuing upperclassmen, not new students as you might expect. This told us that we were missing something in reaching out to our current students.”

After attending a webinar that reported that “one out of 10 Pell Grant-eligible students did not renew their FAFSA,” the department began brainstorming to find ways to reach out to current students and give them the necessary resources to make the most of their financial aid.

“We hope that by being a presence on campus we will encourage students to ask us questions and find out about the deadlines,” Jones said. “Many students lose grant opportunities by applying for financial aid late. Our priority deadline to receive a processed FAFSA for 2016-17 is March 15. If we receive it after that date, the likelihood that an eligible student will receive a state or institutional grant is negligible.”

Students who participate will be entered into a $400 scholarship drawing.

The workshop is free and open to current students.

For more information, contact the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office at 936.294.1774.


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Students To Showcase ‘Bearkat Scrappy Quilts’

scrappy quiltsFamily and consumer science students currently enrolled in the "Introduction to Soft Textiles" course will debut their “Bearkat Scrappy Quilts” on Thursday (Feb. 25) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Margaret Lea Houston Building Courtyard. 

The project, led by graduate assistant Paige Loft, who co-teaches the class with associate professor of merchandising Janis White, provides blankets for preschool children at Huntsville's Head Start.

“We collected donated fabric and the students used the basic sewing skills they learned in class to make a nap-mat sized scrappy quilt from the fabric,” Loft said. “The first time we did it, we were able to donate 63 scrappy quilts to Head Start.”

“These students really take our SHSU motto to heart, and are very invested in the project,” Loft said.

The food prep and selection class will provide homemade cookies and drinks.

For more information, contact Loft at


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Graduate Admissions To Host Open House

Sam Houston State University’s Graduate Admissions Office will host an open house on Tuesday (Feb. 23) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Estill Building Suite 105.

“We are able to met with prospective students during normal business hours; however, we feel these events remind those considering graduate school that our office can meet one-on-one to discuss opportunities for their graduate education at Sam Houston State University,” said marketing coordinator Katrina Thornton.

Those who attend the open house will fill out an information card and enjoy refreshments while they wait to meet with a counselor. Applicants are also welcome to inquire about their application status or drop off materials. 

 “The graduate admissions open house allows us to welcome SHSU students and the community in a more inviting and lively setting,” said Mary Pascarella, associate director of graduate admissions. “We know the decision to pursue a graduate degree can be overwhelming, which is why we host these events. We are here to help make that decision and process less stressful on the students so they can focus more on the exciting adventures again.”

The event is free, and students are welcome to drop by at their convenience.

For more information, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 936.294.1971.


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Career Week To Connect Students, Law Enforcement Agencies

Sam Houston State University’s College of Criminal Justice will prepare for the annual criminal justice career fair by hosting its CJ Career Week beginning Tuesday (Feb. 23). 

Criminal justice career counselor Michelle Haynes will be available in the Criminal Justice Center Lobby on Tuesday (Feb. 23) and Thursday (Feb. 25) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to review resumes.

“Having a resume is essential to your job search process,” Haynes said. “The main purpose of a resume is to get the employer’s attention to invite you to an interview.”

CJ Career Week will continue on Feb. 29 with "Internships 101" at 2 p.m. in the CJ Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

Jim Dozier, clinical professor of criminal justice and internship coordinator, will lead the workshop and discuss more than 300 internships offered in agencies and companies around the world and the process to get them.

“An internship establishes a strong foundation from which you launch your career,” Dozier said. “Many of our interns are hired by their sponsoring agency.” 

The college will host an interviewing workshop on March 1 to demonstrate the do’s and don’ts for getting a job in the criminal justice field.

The session will feature mock student interviews with criminal justice professionals, and Haynes will provide tips on using successful interviewing strategies.

The CJ career fair will take place on March 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

More than 60 organizations and agencies will be in attendance, including the Baytown Police Department; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives–Houston; Dallas Police Department; Harris County Sheriff’s Office; Texas Department of Public Safety; and more.

Students are encouraged to dress professionally and bring multiple copies of their resume.

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


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USA Today To ‘Buzz’ At SHSU 

logo SH The BuzzSam Houston State University is a partner with USA Today in “The Collegiate Readership Program,” which provides access to local newspapers as well as the on-campus newspaper. 

Representatives from USA Today will be promoting “The Buzz Sam Houston State University” on Thursday (Feb. 25) at 11 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area. 

The Buzz Sam Houston State University is an app that gathers news articles from national, local and on-campus news and distributes it digitally directly to a smartphone.

“Once students enter the workforce, they’ll often be expected to keep up with current events. This is a good way to start that habit, as some employers stress the importance of knowing what is happening around the community,” said Jacqueline Garcia, SHSU’s USA Today intern.

Representatives will be distributing free gifts such as ear buds and sunglasses to those who stop by the table and download the app. Participants will also be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card.

For more information, contact Garcia at 832.800.9134.


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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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