Today@Sam Article

SHSU Update For The Week Of March 27

March 24, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Tammy Parrett





Departments To Combine Baseball, Crawfish With Annual Block Party

crawfishThe departments of Student Activities, Athletics, Greek Life, and Alumni Relations will host the second annual “Bearkat Country Crawfish Boil” tailgate and block party before the SHSU baseball team faces off against Texas State University on Monday (March 28). 

The block party will kick off at 4 p.m., and the cost of crawfish will be covered by the Department of Student Activities for the first 450 students who show up with their active Bearkat OneCard.

For non-students, Alumni Relations will be selling tickets for $20 per person. The price does not include the cost of a game ticket.

“Last year was the first year we hosted this event, and we had an incredible turnout,” said Steven Begnaud, program coordinator for the Department of Student Activities. “There was a lot of interest in us hosting it again, and everyone had such a great time last year. It’s such a unique event, combining the crawfish boil with the ‘block party’ atmosphere and throwing in some Bearkat baseball.”

The game will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Don Sanders Stadium.

In addition to the crawfish boil, SHSU student organizations and departments will be tailgating and there will be live music. A variety of promotional items will be distributed as well. 

For more information, contact Student Activities at 936.294.3861 or Alumni Relations at 936.294.1841 or visit


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Spring Teacher Job Fair To Bring More Than 90 Organizations To Campus

Approximately 90 schools and school districts will be talking to potential educators during the Spring Teacher Job Fair on Tuesday (March 29).

The fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the Lowman Student Center Rooms 304 and 320.

Representatives from districts from Texas’ metropolitan areas, as well as smaller school districts and a few private schools, will visit with students or alumni who may be interested in a position.

“This job fair could potentially be approximately 90 mini interviews for the students in attendance,” said assistant director of Career Services Vinessa Mundorff. “That can be a little overwhelming when you think about it like that, but students can prepare by making sure their professional attire is cleaned or pressed, copies of their resume are printed on resume paper, and they’ve done the research to see what districts and organizations will be in attendance.”

Students and alumni can find more information about those in attendance by logging on to Jobs 4 Kats.

“Participating in the job fair is a great opportunity to explore a number of different opportunities and meet with representatives face-to-face and see if it’s a good match,” Mundorff said. “It’s also a nice ego boost to have more than 90 employers interested in recruiting our Bearkats, because employers know we have well-trained, educated and passionate professionals graduating from the College of Education.”

Participants are encouraged to bring copies of résumés and dress professionally.

For more information, contact Career Services at 936.294.1713 or


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First Friday Forum To Discuss Irish Romanticism

Michael Demson, assistant professor of English at Sam Houston State University will present a talk on Friday (April 1) at 3 p.m. in Evans Building Room 212 as part of the English department’s First Friday Forum.

The lecture will explore what the discipline of comparative literature brings to the study of Romanticism, according to Demson.

“My work revolves around a core question–what is the political efficacy of literature, or can literature bring about any real political change?” Demson said. “In this talk, I will explore how Irish authors from the 1790s through the 1830s thought about literature as a tool to resist the cultural and political subjugation.”

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

“By exploring the works of lesser known Irish Romantics alongside English authors, this lecture aims to complicate and thereby enrich student appreciation of Romanticism on the whole,” Demson said.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the English department at 936.294.1403.


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Faculty, Students Hit The ‘FAST’ Lane

Two Sam Houston State University College of Health Sciences faculty members recently received a Faculty and Student Team award from the SHSU Center for Enhancing Undergraduate Research Experiences and Creative Activities.

Assistant professor of athletic training Mary Williams and associate professor of kinesiology Matt Wagner will work with senior kinesiology major Kendall Mehlhorn and junior kinesiology major Devin Anderson on a project titled “The Relationship of Speed, Power, and Hamstring/Quadriceps Isokinetic Strength Ratios in Collegiate Sprinting Athletes.” 

“The primary objective is to get undergraduate students involved with research, and to work alongside them while conducting a research project, start to finish,” Williams said. “These students have already shown an interest in research. In fact, Kendall already has research experience and is currently assisting Dr. Wagner and Dustin LeNorman, director of sports medicine at Huntsville Memorial Hospital and adjunct faculty in the department of kinesiology, on a project entitled, ‘A Comparison of Quadricep and Hamstring Strength in Dominant and Non-Dominant Lower Extremities in Collegiate Female Dancers and Soccer Players.’”

The group hopes to gain information that can be utilized to determine applicable training protocols for individual athletes, according to Williams. Further research can be conducted to examine how these variables can assist performance improvements, as well as potential injury reduction strategies.

Upon completion of the FAST project, the team will present their work to the Undergraduate Research Symposium, hosted by the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College in April.


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Thompson Named To Royal Society Of Chemistry Panel

David Thompson, associate professor of chemistry at Sam Houston State University, was recently selected to serve on the panel of specialist reviewers for the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal “RSC Advances.”

As a member of the panel of specialist peer reviewers, Thompson will read approximately 24 articles each year describing novel chemistry research focused in his area of specialty (analytical chemistry), advise editors on whether or not each submission meets the criteria for publication and provide constructive feedback to authors.

“Peer review helps me to stay abreast of new developments in the field and to be introduced to novel and groundbreaking work,” Thompson said. “Although it requires a significant investment of time, the learning associated with peer review provides a form of long-term continuing education that helps to invigorate my ongoing research and teaching.”

The Royal Society of Chemistry is the United Kingdom’s sister society to the American Chemical Society and is one of the oldest professional societies for chemistry in the world. With a membership of more than 50,000, the RSC strives to advance chemistry as a science, develop its applications and disseminate chemical knowledge.

“My invitation to join the panel also provides an opportunity to highlight similar work being done by colleagues throughout the sciences at SHSU,” Thompson said.


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Study Finds Campuses Need Safety Planning To Protect Abuse Victims

With up to half of college students experiencing abuse by an intimate partner at least once during their college careers, safety planning should be added to prevention and education programs in higher education, according to a research brief by the Sam Houston State University Crime Victims’ Institute.

“Intimate partner violence is a pervasive social problem, with one in three women experiencing IPV at least once in their lifetime,” said Lisa Muftić, associate professor in the SHSU Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. “While IPV can impact women at any stage in the life course, research indicates that women between the ages of 18-24 are at increased risk. It is not surprising, then, to find that 10-50 percent of college students have experienced victimization at the hands of an intimate partner at least once during their college career.”

Safety planning is a detailed, personalized and practical plan to protect oneself from an abusive partner. It includes elements such as identifying a place to go in the event of an emergency and the items to take in those situations, such as a change of clothes, identification, cell phone and charger, cash or ATM card, and medications.

Last year, Muftić surveyed 1,135 female students from a Texas university, and about one-quarter said they had been exposed to intimate partner violence in their lifetime, with 7 percent reporting sexual abuse by a partner and 4 percent reporting physical or verbal abuse by a partner over the last 12 months. While the majority of students identified safe places to go and items to bring with them, those involved in abusive relationships were less likely to have alternatives available. Less than 1 percent of the sample said they would go to an emergency shelter and only as a “last resort” or in “a worst-case scenario,” the study found. 

“Students who reported having been exposed to parental domestic violence were less likely to report having a safe place to go,” Muftić said. “Students who reported they had experienced forced sexual activities within the past year were significantly less likely to report having a safe place to go.”

Given the prevalence of abusive relationship on college campuses, more needs to be done to educate students on safety planning strategies, the study recommended.

“The bulk of on-campus violence prevention and education endeavors focus on sexual victimization,” Muftić said. “While there is good reason for this, considering the elevated risk female college students are at for all forms of partner violence, the findings presented in this research brief suggest that more needs to be done to instruct students in safety planning strategies that center around IPV.”

“A Safe Place to Go? A descriptive study of safety strategies among female college students,” coauthored by Muftić and doctoral student Sara Simmons, is available at


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Staff Council Spotlights Bursar Manager For March ‘Spotlight On Staff’

Staff CouncilThe Sam Houston State University Staff Council has selected Sarah Goines, bursar manager, for its March “Spotlight on Staff.”

Originally from Colorado, Goines moved to Texas in 2006. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from SHSU in 2011, and is currently earning her second degree in accounting.

Goines joined the Bursar’s Office two years ago and enjoys spending her time helping local students involved with 4-H and Future Farmers of America.

“FFA and 4-H made a huge impact in my life, and I hope that I’m able to give back the things I learned to the students,” she said.

She motivates herself and her coworkers in the same way–by reminding them that even the most tedious work has a purpose.

“I always tell myself that there is a reason that we do things, and we will always see the outcome of our work, even if it’s not in the near future,” Goines said. “Our work will make an impact for someone, someday.”


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Texas Review Press Authors Receive Positive Reviews

Get A GripSam Houston State University’s Texas Review Press authors Kathy Flann and Paul Ruffin recently received positive reviews by multiple publications.

Flann’s “Get a Grip” is a collection of stories depicting characters in the Baltimore city region who overcome personal demons.

“The characters in Kathy Flann’s engaging stories suffer, but not always in silence,” said Anthony Bukoski with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “One character has bad knees from ‘bouncing and jumping’ during aerobics. Another risks shin splints from wearing ‘lifts in his loafers’ for the extra 2 inches the inserts provide.”

Ruffin, Texas State University System Regents’ Professor and SHSU Distinguished Professor of English, received positive reviews of his books “Islands, Women and God” and “The Time The Waters Rose.”

In The American Book Review, the reviewer compares Ruffin’s “Islands, Women and God” to the work of literary figure Jack London. Ruffin also serves as director of Texas Review Press.

“Although nearly a century separates the work of London and Ruffin, the two writers often appear to be kindred spirits, if not stylistically, at least in theme, sentiment and in their adept insiders’ treatment of the working class and poor characters in their work,” the reviewer wrote. “Since London’s heyday, American literature has experienced the stylistic contributions of Hemingway, Faulkner, O’Connor, Caldwell and numerous other prominent 20th century authors, so London’s and Ruffin’s respective prose styles are as distinct as a reader might expect, at least on the surface.”

“The Time the Waters Rose” was reviewed by Kinah Lindsay from Dew on the Kudzu.

“I was intrigued when I received this book as I love stories about the Gulf,” Lindsay wrote. “The book description did say that these stories are different and two pages in I saw exactly what they meant.  The first story re-enacts the tale of Noah and the building of the Ark.  It is rowdy, bawdy, lewd in parts and altogether something that could make a devout Christian cringe.  I was absolutely captivated by its sly wit and twisty turns to the tale.”


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