Today@Sam Article

SHSU Update For Week Of Feb. 28

Feb. 28, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Tammy Parrett



English Department To Kick Off Semester With ‘First Friday Forum’

Nick LantzSam Houston State University’s Department of English will host their first “First Friday Forum” of the semester on Friday (March 4) at 3 p.m. in Evans Building Room 212.

Nick Lantz, assistant professor of English, will read and discuss selections from his current manuscript project “Enter GHOST.”

The collection explores various experiences of hauntedness, from secondhand clothes to photographs, abandoned buildings to literary translations, and TV reruns to plastic fruit.

First Friday Forum is in its eighth year at SHSU, where it has offered English faculty, graduate students and invited speakers to present research in literature, language and cultural studies and read cultural work.

“In the past several years, faculty members have presented talks on a wide range of academic topics, including plagiarism in the classroom, modern British literature, Hawthorne's European travels, zombies in film and literature, food in Flannery O'Connor, and the love letters of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, and have read their poetry, prose fiction, and nonfiction,” said Paul Child, professor of English. “These talks have always proven to be both informative and entertaining.”

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the English department at 936.294.1403.


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SHSU Online To Host Fifth Annual Conference

SHSU Online will host the fifth annual SHSU Online Teaching and Learning Conference on Friday (March 4) at the Lowman Student Center.

Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. outside of the LSC Ballroom.

This year’s conference theme, “Educators and Innovators,” is designed to highlight innovation in the advancement of distance learning.

Presentations will include “How Do I Teach That Online? Overcoming Barriers To Online Course Development,” “#Connect: Engaging Online Students Through the Use of Social Media,” “Rhizomatic Learning Online: Faculty and Student Perspectives,” and “Transform Your Slides from Lecture to Dialogue: Using Adobe Captivate to Integrate Lessons in Blackboard.”

Motivational speaker Tim Clune will close the conference with a keynote presentation in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall at 4:45 p.m.

SHSU’s Department of Dance professors Brittany and David Deveau will perform a multimedia-rich dance installation following the keynote presentation.

“Expansion: Putting Online in Motion” will open with a dance on film designed to highlight the innovation in distance learning already happening in the seven SHSU colleges. As the video concludes, dancers will arrive to perform in person, as well as interact with a live feed of a dance instructor at a remote location.

Registration is free and can be completed online at

The full schedule of sessions is available at

For more information, contact SHSU Online at 936.294.2780.


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Celebrity Chef To Talk Food At SHSU

Michael GabrielProfessional chef Michael Gabriel, who has appeared on “Hell’s Kitchen,” will visit Sam Houston State University on Thursday (March 3).

Gabriel will speak during Ryan Fenley’s Family and Consumer Sciences 2441 “Meal Management in Hospitality” class from 12:30-2 p.m. in Margaret Lea Houston Building’s Medford Lab, on the second floor.

The presentation is open to the public.

“Chef Gabriel wants to introduce new culture and new food to the beautifully diverse community that we live in,” said Fenley. “He has been trained by some of the best chefs in America, and he has also appeared in season 12 of ‘Hell's Kitchen,’ with Chef Gordon Ramsay, where he made it to top seven chefs in the show.”

Gabriel will next appear on season 13 of The Food Network Show "Cutthroat Kitchen,” which will begin on March 13.

Gabriel is a certified chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute LeNotre, where he received two associate’s degrees in culinary arts management and in culinary arts cuisine.

He is the owner of BTG670, a Pacific Islander food truck in Houston that specializes in Chamorro food.

He also has staged at Volt Restaurant in Frederick, Maryland, that is owned by celebrity chef Brian Voltaggio. 

For more information, contact Fenley at

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Staff Council To Host ‘Coffee Conversations’

coffee conversationsSam Houston State University’s Staff Council will host the first Coffee Conversations on Tuesday (March 1) at 10 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

Richard Montelongo, assistant professor of higher education administration, will lead a presentation on the status of diversity in higher education as a whole. After his presentation, members of Staff Council will lead small discussions on how to improve the status of diversity on campus.

Feedback from the discussions will be forwarded to administration as a catalyst for further discussions.

The program will serve as an outlet for staff members to discuss the more difficult issues facing higher administration professionals in a comfortable and unintimidating environment, according to associate director of marketing and promotions for Recreational Sports Melissa Fadler.

“This is a great opportunity to learn and give back to our university,” Fadler said. “It’s a forum to discuss ways to make out university better, as well as a place to join your colleagues for some coffee and socialization.”

The event is free and open to staff members, who can receive Talent Management credit for attending.

For more information, contact Fadler at 936.294.3658.


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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 (March 1) 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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Program Council To Provide Students With Breakfast

Sam Houston State University’s Program Council will provide students with breakfast with “Breakfast with PC” on Monday (Feb. 29) from 8:30-10:30 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

“Breakfast with PC” is held on the last Monday of each month, providing students with an opportunity to grab a quick breakfast treat in hopes to “sweeten” the start of the week.

Program Council is a student-led organization that provides entertainment, education, multicultural, academic, spirit and traditions, and social programs for students. 

There is no cost for students to participate in the program. 

For more information, contact Program Council at 936.294.1736.


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Faculty To Perform Trombone, Piano Repertoire

tromboneSam Houston State University’s School of Music will host a recital featuring faculty members Ben Osborne and Jinyoung Kim on Wednesday (March 2) at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The program will include Eugene Bozza’s “New Orleans” for bass trombone and piano, written to evoke the feel of the city at a time when jazz was a brand new form of musical expression, and “Sonata for Trombone and Piano” by Eddie Bass.

Osborne is an adjunct instructor of trombone at SHSU and second trombone for the Austin Symphony. He performs standard and lesser-known repertoire on both tenor and bass trombone.

Kim is the piano accompanist for the School of Music.

“This is Dr. Kim’s first full collaborative recital with faculty at SHSU,” Osborne said. “It’s also the first time she will perform with a trombonist; however, she is not shying away from the often difficult collaborative piano parts that are frequent within the trombone repertoire.”

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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Workshop To Empower Students To ‘Lead Humbly’

lead humblySam Houston State University’s Center for Leadership and Service will provide students with tips on how to become a servant leader on Tuesday (March 1) from 11 a.m. to noon in the Lowman Student Center Room 302.

In “Lead Humbly: The Path of Servant Leadership,” graduate assistant for service programs Sarah Hagler will discuss the characteristics of a servant leader and how students can incorporate them into their lives.

“Often when one hears the word ‘leader,’ a certain image of a commanding and powerful person might come to mind. However, it isn’t always these types of individuals who can have the greatest impact on those they are leading,” Hagler said. “Servant leaders are individuals who challenge this typical image, and this workshop will share some of the ways that anyone can become a servant leader and empower those around them.”

The workshop is designed for those who may not think of themselves as leaders because they do not embody the traditional perception of how a leader is supposed to interact with those they are leading, according to Hagler.

Lunch will be provided to participants.

The event is free and open to students, faculty and staff.

For more information, contact Hagler at 936.294.1976.


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‘City Spotlight’ To Broadcast First Episode Of Semester 

“City Spotlight,” the Sam Houston State University student-produced television show that focuses on the Huntsville community, will begin airing its spring semester season on Tuesday (March 1) at 4 p.m. on Channel 7.

Peter Roussel, Phillip G. Warner Endowed Chair, will interview Maj. William Wiesman, assistant professor of military science, and Amanda Nowlin-O’Banion, clinical assistant professor of English, in the first episode of the season.

“City Spotlight” is jointly produced and promoted by broadcast production students and student members of Priority One, the student-run public relations firm.

“This show–the production and promotion aspects involved–truly serves as a hands-on experience for the students,” Roussel said. “It is a meaningful way of preparing communication students for their future careers.” 

Each week, the show will be rebroadcast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the same time.

Previous guests have included SHSU President Dana Hoyt, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication Ron Shields, head football coach K.C. Keeler, former Huntsville mayor Mac Woodward, and others.

For more information, contact Priority One students Shelby Stricklin, Cristina Laboy or Whitney Simmons.


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Texas Review Press Authors Receive Positive Reviews

Sam Houston State University’s Texas Review Press authors Sarah Cortez and Ernest Finney recently received positive reviews by multiple publications.

Cortez’s “Goodbye Mexico: Poems of Remembrance” is an anthology of poems celebrating Mexico before being overrun with organized crime.

“Divided into six sections, some of them titled after phrases found in poems, the anthology depicts a portrait of Mexico rooted in memory, more specifically, what the poets remember about a country that now exists only in their imagination,” said a reviewer with Southwest American Literature. “Cortez makes sure that each section focuses on a theme—myth, desire, hope, faith, complexity, violence— that shows Mexico from ample perspectives and that dictates the sort of imagery we will encounter.

“Nonetheless, the sections bleed into each other in terms of tone, subject matter, and image, which speak of Cortez’s care as an edi­tor to focus on a larger narrative—the losses due to the narco-war— that surpasses the beauty and craft of individual poems. With this said, there is quite an abundance of exquisite and well-crafted work to be found throughout the anthology.”

Finney’s “Elevation: 6,040” tells the story of Roscoe McAdams and his family, who live in an isolated cabin in California’s northern Sierra Mountains. When Roscoe’s mother becomes a substitute teacher in a small town, she enrolls her children–who have always been homeschooled–in the school, and Roscoe quickly sees everything he’s ever known falling down around him.

“Winner of the 2014 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize, ‘Elevation: 6,040’ is a deftly crafted story by Ernest Finney that offers an impressively consistent entertainment from beginning to end,” said Michael Dunford, reviewer with Midwest Book Review.

“Goodbye Mexico: Poems of Remembrance” is available for purchase at and Amazon, and “Elevation: 6,040” also is available at and Amazon.


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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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