Today@Sam Article

SHSU Update For Week Of Sept. 25

Sept. 25, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

Training To Assist With Campus Suicide Prevention

The recent #22Pushups campaign has raised awareness about suicide prevention among the veteran population, with almost 20 million pushups estimated to date, according to

But suicide also is the second leading cause of death among those ages 10-14, 15-25 and 35-44, following unintentional injury for all three groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

To help raise awareness of suicide on campus, and help students combat it among their peers, the Sam Houston State University Counseling Center will offer a QPR Training on Thursday (Sept. 29). 

The “Question Persuade Refer” training, scheduled from 9:30-11 a.m. in the Student Health and Counseling Center Room 280, will help faculty, staff and students learn to recognize the warning signs of someone contemplating suicide by teaching participants which questions to ask.

“Suicidal thoughts are common. Suicidal acts, threats and attempts are less common, but much more frequent than most people realize,” said Debbie O’Donnell, Counseling Center case manager. “If you are a student, professional, caregiver, coach, counselor, case manager, clergy, police officer, mentor or volunteer you will likely have firsthand contact with suicidal people.”

Among the objectives of the QPR training include understanding suicide, overcoming emotional reactions to suicide, clues to suicide and when to apply QPR, how to ask the “S” question, how to persuade someone to get help, and how to refer someone to help.

Registration is required and space is limited. The registration deadline is Wednesday (Sept. 28). 

For more information, or to register, contact O’Donnell at or 936.294.1720.

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Staff Council To Host Meet, Greet Event

Sam Houston State University employees can learn about the Staff Council and meet their division’s representatives during the first Staff Council Meet and Greet on Wednesday (Sept. 28).

Members of the 2016-17 SHSU Staff Council (pictured above is the 2015-16 council) will introduce themselves to their fellow university employees on Sept. 28. 

The come-and-go event will be from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Art Gallery.

The SHSU Staff Council serves as an advisory board for President Dana Hoyt, making recommendations and expressing concerns related to staff experiences across campus. The council comprises approximately 52 staff members representing SHSU’s six divisions, as well as the president’s office and athletics. 

“Staff members should attend to meet their reps so they can know who they can talk to about concerns or go to with questions,” said Natalie Payne, technology trainer for IT client services and chair of the Staff Council committee for staff affairs.

The council also has committees for news and networking, nominations and elections, special events, and staff development.

Among the activities the council offers are the annual Professional Development Conference, held during spring break; the Spooktacular Breakfast; Spotlight on Staff, which highlights a different staff member monthly; the Hot Topics in Higher Education discussion, which engages staff members in conversations regarding the changing landscape of higher education and SHSU; and the annual holiday People and Pets food drive, among others.

For more information on the meet-and-greet, email

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Prof To Host Post Graduation Preparedness Workshop

Terri Jaggers

Communication studies professor Terri Jaggers will host a free, two-day workshop full of tips on how to stand out in today’s job market on Monday (Sept. 26) from 3-5 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 304.

“As a business and community leader myself, I work with dozens of employers who continue to express their concerns regarding the ill-preparedness of young adults entering today’s job market,” Jaggers said. “One big component our students can hone in on is the newest techniques of identifying for themselves what their personal brand is and learning how to communicate that within their cover letter, resume and interview.” 

Jaggers said employers often get tired of sorting through stacks of resumes that all communicate the “what”—what school an applicant went to, what degree they have, what they’ve accomplished, etc.—and instead look for the resumes that communicate the “why.”

“In this workshop I will explain ways in which each student can identify their own “whys” and communicate those succinctly within their branded image, their cover letter, resume, elevator pitch, and interview,” Jaggers said.

In addition, students can wear interview attire for personal critique and receive a professional headshot for their branding on social media like Facebook or LinkedIn.

This is the second time this workshop is available, but Jaggers hopes that with student interest, it will become a recurring event. 

“As a bleeding orange Bearkat, I want to see our students rise to the top of the applicant pool,” she said. “I want them to represent themselves and our university in such a way as that they become our community’s leaders all across industry sectors.”

A repeat presentation will be on Tuesday (Sept. 27) at 12:30 p.m. in LSC 315.

For more information about the workshop, contact Jaggers at

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Drive To Encourage Bearkats To ‘Be The Match’

Sam Houston State University faculty, staff and students can join the more than 2,900 Bearkats who have registered to “Be The Match” during a drive Monday (Sept. 26) through Thursday (Sept. 29).

Registration tables will be set up by the SHSU Department of Population Health and honorary health organization Eta Sigma Gamma in the turnaround area near the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building and in front of the Newton Gresham Library from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, tables will be set up in Old Main Market on Monday and Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

be the matchThis is the sixth year of the registry drive to collect potential donors for bone marrow transplants.

The process requires potential donors to swab the inside of their cheeks to join the registry; doctors then search for matches between donors and those in need. One in 540 registrants go on to donate, according to Susie Stone, adjunct health faculty member. 

“Our country is currently in need of bone marrow donations. App
roximately every nine minutes someone dies from a terminally ill blood cancer,” Stone said. “Because there are patients who can’t find a match, we need more people to join the registry and to be there when they are called as a match.”

According to adjunct health faculty member Courtney Wallace, each semester they have been fortunate to have many health students assist with educating others about the importance of joining the registry. 

“This is an event that this entire college campus can help thrive with a simple swabbing of the inside of the cheeks and being willing to commit when they have been linked to a match,” Wallace said.

Last year, when Stone and Wallace earned the National Marrow Donor Program’s Leadership Award for the registry program, 42 members had come forward to complete confirmatory typing, four had donated Peripheral Blood Stem Cells and two donated bone marrow.

For more information, contact Stone at or Wallace at

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Free STI Tests Aim To Improve Students’ Sexual Health

The Sam Houston State University Office of Health Promotion will team up with the Texas Department of Health to sponsor “Hump Day: Get Yourself Tested,” free HIV and syphilis testing on Wednesday (Sept. 28) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 320.

“Get Yourself Tested” is held every semester to promote the practice of safe sex and sexual health among college students, according to Megan Richardson, SHSU Health Center program coordinator. 

“Getting tested on a regular basis for sexually transmitted infections is a big component of practicing safer sex and reducing the risk of potentially contracting or spreading STIs to others,” Richardson said. 

The Office of Health Promotion encourages any sexually active student to get tested because, according to Richardson, many STIs can be asymptomatic, or show no symptoms, which can lead to future health complications if not adequately treated.

“The traditional college student falls within the age group 18-24 years old, which has been found to be the most susceptible to new STI infections,” she said. “This could be due to societal pressures to have sex, quickly meeting and hanging around new people, cultural norms surrounding casual sexual encounters, and the accessibility to alcohol and drugs which could impair decision-making abilities.”

However, discussing one’s sexual history can be intimidating for many people. In response, Richardson suggests comparing a few uncomfortable moments to a lifetime of health risks.

“Know first that you are not alone in your sentiments,” Richardson said. “It is important to understand that all STI testing is confidential and your healthcare provider is there to provide a judgment-free environment to take care of your health needs. A few potentially awkward moments to get the test done will be worth knowing your status and protecting your health.”

For more information about “Get Yourself Tested,” contact Richardson at 936.294.4347 or

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SHSU Food Pantry To Distribute Food Sept 26

FoodPantrylogoThe Sam Houston State University Food Pantry will be open for students to shop through on Monday (Sept. 26) from 2-8 p.m. in Academic Building III Room 113. 

“Distribution days are an opportunity for students who are struggling with food insecurity to get food relief,” program coordinator Candice Wilson said.

According to Wilson, distribution days are targeted toward any student who struggles with food insecurity, which means they do not have nutritious meals on a consistent basis.

Students will need to request food through their MySam account under the “students” and then “student assistance” tabs. Requests must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. the day before distribution.

The day of, students should bring their Bearkat OneCards and a grocery bag. 

For more information, contact Wilson at 936.294.2231 or

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‘Around The Edges’ To Run Through Mid-October

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery in the Department of Art at Sam Houston State University is running “Around the Edges,” an exhibition of work by four artists who depict cultural flaws, now until Oct. 14.

The exhibit features the works of three photographers, Deborah Bay, Bill Daniel and Denny Renshaw, in addition to pieces by mixed-media painter Bruce Lee Webb.

AroundTheEdgesBay’s photography tackles modern social and political issues, as seen in her series of color photographs called “The Big Bang,” in which she captures bullets shot into Plexiglas to demonstrate America’s long-held affection, and hotly debated issue, of guns.

Daniel will exhibit selected works from his TRI-X-NOISE mobile photo installation. The installation is a pop-up photo show comprising of 30 years of history, including the early ‘80s punk rock scene in Texas and ‘90s graffiti scene in San Francisco. 

Renshaw’s project, “Tokyo Rockabilly Club,” was inspired by his recent trip to Tokyo, where he saw the fashion tribes that were part of Japanese street culture. One of the tribes, the “Rockers,” is featured in his exhibit. 

Webb’s art is influenced by everything from Native American artists to jazz album covers and UFOs. He draws and paints on pages from antique magazines and other vintage products to rehash and represent the fringes of Texas culture.

In addition to the running exhibition, several artist talks are scheduled. Bay will talk on Tuesday (Oct. 4) from 5-6 p.m. and Webb will talk on Tuesday (Oct. 11) from 5-6 p.m. in the SHSU Art Auditorium.

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. It is located at 1028 21 St.

For more information, contact gallery technician Max Manning at 936.294.3102 or

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Two Contests Added To Common Reader Competitions

Two Sam Houston State University departments have joined in the journey through Col. Chris Hadfield’s “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth” by sponsoring contests held in conjunction with the First Year Experience Office’s common reader program.

The Rhyme and Flow Spoken Word Contest, sponsored by the Multicultural Student Services Office, encourages students from any discipline, taking a minimum of nine hours, to create a spoken-word piece based on the themes presented Hadfield’s book.

Winners will be recognized with $200 for first place, $100 for second place and $50 for third place.

The deadline submission is Oct. 24.

The Common Reader Film Festival will showcase short, science fiction films thematically related to, or inspired by, the book that are produced by a currently enrolled SHSU student.

The SHSU Department of Mass Communication will recognize selections with three prizes: a “Best Film Award,”
an “Honorable Mention Award
” and a “Special Common Reader Award.”

Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 27.

For more information—including details about the prompts, contest rules and submission procedures for each contest—visit

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Deadline For Leadership Opportunity Approaching

Applications to represent Sam Houston State University at the 2017 National Collegiate Leadership Conference, to be held Feb. 17-19 at the University of Arizona, are due by Monday (Sept.26).

NCLCAccording to their website, the NCLC is a student-run annual conference that serves to build leadership experience for hundreds of college students across the nation.

Associate director of Leadership Initiatives Max Walling said the conference extends beyond so-called conventional definitions of leadership, which exposes students to different ideas and opportunities. 

“While SHSU has great programs that relate to leadership, personal and academic development, the opportunity to learn from individuals from across the country should never be passed up,” Walling said.

Some of the conference sessions include leadership for civic engagement, social justice, technology, groups, and personal development.

If an applicant is accepted to represent SHSU at the conference, they will be responsible for submitting a presentation proposal to the conference with the potential of presenting during the conference.

“For a sizable contingent of our students who will enter fields where public speaking is a regular occurrence, the experience of presenting at a national conference in college cannot be understated,” Walling said.

Applicants will be able to review and practice their presentations with Walling and other faculty members to ensure preparedness before the conference.

For more information about the conference or application, contact Walling at 936.294.3467 or

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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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