Today@Sam Article

SHSU Update For Week Of Nov. 6

Nov. 6, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Teddi Cliett




Museum To Host Traditional Harvest Festival

Smells of chicken with rosemary, garden fresh vegetables, corn bread, and pumpkin pie will fill the Sam Houston Memorial Museum air on Thursday (Nov. 10) at the 2016 Harvest Festival. A traditional harvest dinner will be served at Eliza’s Kitchen, at 1836 Sam Houston Ave., from 4-6 p.m.

MuseumHarvest“It’s important that the museum hosts this event on an educational level, as well as a community service and involvement level,” said Cathy DeYoung, the Museum’s curator of education. “Educationally, it shows the differences and similarities of meal planning, and preparing from then to now. Community wise, it increases awareness and interest in the times our museum represents.”

The museum’s historical interpreters will cook the entire meal as a celebration of the changing season and successful garden harvest.

“The historical interpreters are the individuals who lead guided tours and dress in period dress for our school tours,” museum marketing coordinator Megan Buro said. “They also maintain our garden, which is used for our programs like the Harvest Festival and work and play tours.” 

To attend, the museum requests that individuals RSVP by Tuesday (Nov. 8) by calling the Education Department at 936.294.3153. The event is free, but the museum is asking for a $5 donation per attendee.

Visit for more information.

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Competition Encourages Students To Keep Their Craft

Ready, Set, Write.

The Sam Houston State University International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta has teamed up with The Houston Writers Guild to present “Unite to Write” to encourage students to participate in the National November Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, competition.

The goal of the competition is to complete a 50,000 word-count assignment as fast as possible, before the Nov. 30 deadline.

The first three writers to complete the challenge will be given passes to the HWG’s Annual Writers Conference in 2017, with rooming paid.

“The Houston Writers Guild is one of the oldest associations of writers supporting writers in Houston,” Sigma Tau Delta president Julian Kindred said. “Attending is a great opportunity to learn not only about the craft of writing, but the business as well. It is also an opportunity to meet fellow writers who can continue to support each other long after the conference has wrapped up.”

In addition to the conference passes, the first two people to complete the word count will win a pitch session with a literary agent.

“Even if the work that is pitched is not picked up it is a great learning experience,” Kindred said. “This is an opportunity not only to pitch your work, but to learn about the industry and the people who can best help you to navigate it.”

There are no genre specifications for the competition; participants can choose to write 50,000 words on whatever they choose.

To participate, visit and register for free. Then, email Kindred at with your NaNoWriMo username and student ID number. Once a participant has completed the word count, email Kindred so he can confirm.

The NaNoWriMo website automatically tracks the word count of each submission.

“The goal of this contest is not to help writers to refine their craft, - that comes after - but to make time for it,” Kindred said. “When time is an issue, writing is always the first thing dropped. This contest forces its participants to dedicate a specific amount of time and energy into their work. It’s about building good writing habits and proving that ‘Yes, I can write a novel.’”

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Prof To Examine Authenticity Behind ‘All The Pretty Horses’

Cormac McCarthy’s 1992 novel “All the Pretty Horses” is surrounded by West Texas culture and received national attention through awards, bestseller lists, and movie adaptations. English professor Gene Young wanted to know why that West Texas culture sparked the interest of so many, so he set out to explore the authenticity behind the novel.

McCarthyHorsesYoung will present his findings at his upcoming ProfSPEAK presentation, “Researcher or Grave Robber? It’s All the Same to Me,” on Wednesday (Nov. 9) from 4-5:30 p.m. in Evans Complex Room 105.

Young has a personal connection to “All the Pretty Horses” because of his birthplace, San Angelo, where the novel begins and ends. That commonality, in addition to the fact that he was already reading and studying other McCarthy novels, encouraged Young to want to research further.

“Most research is driven by a central question,” Young said. “Mine was this:  How can a book that is just buried in West Texas language, folkways, places, and stories win national awards and be on the national best seller lists, which means that it has to have nationally wide appeal?”

In order to grasp the true authenticity behind the novel, Young visited several sites mentioned in the story, like those located in Zacatecas and the Mexican State of Coahuila.

And while he didn’t actually ever rob any graves, he left with around 500 photographs, as well as some artifacts, which will be the center of his presentation. 

“The specific reference to grave robbing is a little humorous,” Young said. “I didn’t exactly rob any graves, but one of the most revealing parts of the research was done in a Mexican cemetery outside of the hamlet of Knickerbocker, Texas.” 

His findings will be revealed at his presentation, where he encourages students to bring a copy of the novel if they have one.

The Honors College ProfSPEAK series is designed to promote undergraduate research across campus. Each month, a different faculty member will share some aspect of his or her research in an informal lecture with interested undergraduates from all disciplines. All students, faculty, and staff are welcome.  

For more information, contact the Honors College at 936.294.1477.

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On-Campus Ministry To Offer Free Thanksgiving Meal

The on-campus ministry Cru at Sam will host their fifth annual Thanksgiving Feast, free for all students, on Wednesday (Nov. 16) from 7-9 p.m. at the Kat Klub, inside the Lowman Student Center.

“We are passionate about our community and embrace every opportunity we can to get to know and serve those in our community,” Cru representative Sarah Beasley said. “We host this Thanksgiving Feast because we know many students, especially international students, don't always get the chance to go home for Thanksgiving, and we think they should all have the chance to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.”

Cru has teamed up with two other student organizations, Bridges International and Destino, to host the event.

“We joined up with Bridges because we wanted to intentionally reach out to international students,” Beasley said. “Destino is our sister organization, and we want to help them get the word out about their organization so more people can get involved with it.”

In addition to a Thanksgiving meal, there will be games, contests and prizes available.

For more information, contact Beasley at

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Association To Exhibit Student Works For Juried Show

The Sam Houston State University Student Art Association will present the best of what students have to offer during the group’s annual Juried Art Show beginning Monday (Nov. 7).

Pieces selected and judged by guest juror John Smither, a prominent local businessman and artist, will be on display through Friday (Nov. 11) in the Lowman Student Center Art Gallery.

A reception, during which awards for “Best of Show” and “Honorable Mention” will be announced, will be held on Thursday (Nov. 10) from 6-8 p.m.

The exhibit represents work by art majors and will include a variety of mediums.

“The SAA works with the community and the school to try to improve SHSU student's experience and understanding of art and to provide opportunities to participate in the art community on and around campus, both locally and globally,” said SAA president Laura Miller.

Smither, a Huntsville resident, has been involved with the Huntsville Cultural District Arts.

The LSC has been sponsoring the SAA Juried Show since 2008, coordinating the reception and providing cash prizes for the two winning selections.

Throughout the year, the LSC offers all SHSU students, faculty and staff the opportunity to showcase their works through LSC Art Gallery exhibits. Community artists also have showcased their work in the LSC, including Elkins Lake Artisans, Lee Jamison, Scott McCarley, and Patsy Lindamood.

Those interested in exhibiting their work in 2017 can contact LSC reservations coordinator Gayle Bullard at, and for more information on the Juried Art Show, contact Miller at

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Seniors Explore ‘Control’ In Satellite Gallery Exhibit

“Garden of Earthly Plights” and “Control Freak,” two exhibitions featuring recent work by Sam Houston State University senior students Lillie Muyskens and Samuel Wagner, will be on display concurrently in the Satellite Gallery beginning Sunday (Nov. 6).

The exhibits, which run through Saturday (Nov. 12), will include a reception on Thursday (Nov. 10, from 6-8 p.m. in the gallery.

Both explore the idea of inner and external control in their own way.

Using ceramics, Muyskens’s “Garden of Earthly Plights” focuses on humanity’s urge to conquer and extract from the earth by using clay to represent how humanity shapes the earth to their will.

Wagner’s “Control Freak” deals with his struggles establishing balance and routine in everyday life via mixed-media paintings and ceramic sculptures, both largely inspired by outsider art.

Muyskens, whose ceramic work addresses how humans treat the environment and the repercussions that follow, will receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art in December 2016.

She was given an honorable mention award for the Polley Art Scholarship and has shown work in the Lowman Student Center Gallery and a previous exhibit in the Satellite Gallery.  

Wagner, who will soon receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art at SHSU, focuses on the trials of daily life and the quest to take control of its many facets; things like money, relationships and responsibility are just some of the aspects Wagner touches on in his exhibition.

He has had work featured in the spring exhibition “Say No More” at the LSC and received second prize for a submission in the Spring of 2016 Juried Exhibition in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery.

The Satellite Gallery is located at 1216 University Ave., in downtown Huntsville.

For more information, contact Muyskens at

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Student-Produced TV Show Launches Fall Season

“City Spotlight,” the 30-minute Sam Houston State University student-produced television show that focuses on people, places, and events in Huntsville and on campus, has begun airing segments for the fall semester on cable Channel 7.

Shows will be broadcast on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 4 p.m..

“City Spotlight” was created by SHSU’s Department of Mass Communication and is jointly produced and promoted by broadcast production students and student members of Priority One, the student public relations service on campus.

The show is hosted by Peter Roussel, Phillip G. Warner Endowed Chair.

“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.”

In addition to interviews, each episode includes feature segments highlighting different aspects of Huntsville and on the SHSU campus. The segments are produced by broadcast students who also serve as the show’s production crew.

Priority One students secure guests, prepare questions and promote the show.

Guests this semester will include the editor-in-chief of The Houstonian and SHSU Career Services; the first guests of the semester, which originally aired Oct. 31, were City of Huntsville secretary Lee Woodward and 2016 Miss Sam Houston Jizyah Shorts.

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

For more information on “City Spotlight” or its guests, contact Priority One member Caitlyn Cain at 214.783.1246 or

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Theatre To Showcase Two Student-Directed Plays

The Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre will present student directed plays “The Baltimore Waltz” and “Belleville,” Nov. 15-19 in the University Theatre Center's Showcase Theatre.

“The Baltimore Waltz,” a farce about the odyssey of a sister and brother in search of hedonistic pleasure and a cure for terminal illness, will be on Tuesday (Nov. 15) and Thursday (Nov. 17) at 8 p.m. and Saturday (Nov. 19) at 2 p.m.

American playwright Paula Vogel wrote the play, which is a series of comedic vignettes underscored with tragedy, after her own brother passed away from AIDS complications.

“Belleville,” written by Amy Herzog, a 2012 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award finalist, is about two Americans living in Paris whose seemingly perfect lives begin to crumble.

“Belleville” will be showcase on Wednesday (Nov. 16) and Friday (Nov. 18) at 8 p.m., as well as 2 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 19).

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online or at 936.294.2339.

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Dance To Say ‘Goodbye’ To Seniors With ‘Dódeka’

The Sam Houston State University Department of Dance Senior Studio course will present their student choreographed show “Dódeka” on Nov. 17-19 at 8 p.m. at the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theater.

DanceDodekaTwelve undergraduate choreographers will wow spectators with pieces that draw inspiration from a broad spectrum of places covering everything from Picasso paintings and the hardships and excitement that come with relationships, to comments on female sexuality and the current climate of American society.

The 12 choreographers are excited for the audience to witness hours of hard work; more than just creating movement, the students had to construct the concert from the ground up, according to senior dance major Miguel Hernandez..

“It is a time to show our peers what we have learned and who we are before we say our final goodbyes,” Hernandez said.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for senior citizens and $5 for students. They can be purchased online or by calling 936.294.2339

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Submit Experts, Story Ideas Here

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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