SHSU Update For Week Of June 15



‘Ice Wolf’ Production To Feature 27 Area Children


Twenty-seven local children will help explore prejudice and the consequences of revenge in an Eskimo village during the SHSU theatre department and the Huntsville Arts’ Commission’s presentation of “The Ice Wolf” Tuesday through Thursday (June 17-19).


The Children’s Theatre Festival production of the authentic Eskimo legend will be held at 7 p.m. each day at the University Theatre Center’s Mainstage.


When a village of Eskimos ruled by the spirits of the earth experiences famine and a vicious blizzard devastates the villagers, a pale-haired child, Anatou, is blamed for the bizarre series of events.


After her parents disappear into the blizzard, the village people exile Anatou because she is “the different one.”


“The Ice Wolf” uses movement, poetic language and Eskimo drums in the experience of Anatou’s compelling and thought-provoking post-exile journey.


The show features Claire Cooper as Anatou, along with Taylor Bacon, CJ Bray, Callie Cooling, Alyx Cousins, Keanu Cousins, Jordyn Denman, Joshua Gonzales, Taylore Hartman, Sean James, Amber Jamison, Tony Klespis, Sarah Lane, Madison Lively, Elizabeth Lyons, Chris Morris, Ethan Nash, Tucker Nash, Alex Norman, Elliot Norman, Payson Norman, Garrett Reeves, A’Rhyan Samford, Kelsey Smith, Ashley Thomas, Dakota Thornton and Liliana Zupato.


SHSU alumnae Karen Roberts and Kara Coffey are the director and stage manager, respectively, and SHSU theatre staff member Larry Routh is the technical director.


Designers include Routh, set; SHSU senior theatre major Charles Page, lights; and junior theatre minor Amber Levy, costumes.


Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children and may be purchased from cast members or at the UTC Box Office each evening of the performances.


For more information, call 936.294.1339.


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Planetarium Showings To Make Astronomy ‘Colorful’


The physics department will bring some “color” into its planetarium series program with “The Colors of Summer” and feature presentation “The Cowboy Astronomer” on Tuesday (June 17).

The program, which shows attendees which constellations, stars and planets they can expect to see in the upcoming weeks, will be held at 2 p.m. in the planetarium, located in Farrington Building Room 102.


The tour will point out and discuss the colors of the stars in such constellations as Cygnus, Lyra, Scorpio and Sagittarius, according to Michael Prokosch, staff aide for the physics department.


In addition, cowboy humorist and poet Baxter Black will give colorful commentary on the Big Dipper, Orion and Pegasus, helping “the viewer explore the stars from a cowboy's point of view,” as the narrator for “The Cowboy Astronomer” presentation, Prokosch said.

The planetarium seats up to 29 visitors and includes a dome that is approximately 18 feet in diameter and more than 20 feet high in the center.

“Essentially a time machine, the planetarium's projector can show how the night sky appears to an observer at any point in time from any place on the earth, from 100,000 years in the past, to 100,000 years into the future,” he said.

The entire program will last approximately an hour and fifteen minutes.

Admission is free, and a visitor's parking pass can be obtained at the Visitor and Alumni Center for the parking lot near the Farrington Building. 

Other show dates include June 27, July 1, July 11, July 15, July 25, July 29, Aug. 8, Aug. 15, and Aug. 29.

All Tuesday programs will be held at 2 p.m., and Friday programs will be held at 7 p.m. An additional 2 p.m. showing will also be held on Aug. 15.

For more information on current show times for the planetarium or the observatory, call 936.294.3664 or e-mail Prokosch at


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SAM Center To Prep Students For LSAT


The Student Advising and Mentoring program will help law-school bound students prepare for the standardized entrance exam with a prep course beginning July 8.


Philosophy professor Glenn Sanford will lead the four-week program, which will be held on Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. through July 29.

Class size is limited and students must register to attend.

For more information on the LSAT prep course, or to register, contact SAM Center staff associate Margaret Ferguson at or call 936.294.4628.


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Book Gives Catholic Perspectives On Criminal Justice


Many governments around the world operate under the doctrine of “separation of church and state” within their justice systems. 


A new book by associate professor of criminal justice Willard M. Oliver challenges this principle by looking at “crime-related issues” such as the death penalty, abortion, euthanasia and “so-called victimless crimes” through the eyes of a Catholic.

Catholic Perspectives on Crime and Criminal Justice, published in April by Lexington Books, “presents a policy framework for the criminal justice system describing how and why police, courts, and corrections should adopt the tenets of restorative and community justice,” according to the Lexington Books Web site synopsis.

For Oliver, the book came as a continuation of a 2000 report published by U.S. bishops discussing “Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration.”

“In some ways, it was the bishops beating me to the punch, as I had been thinking about something along that line,” Oliver said. “However, their document was only 30 pages and pretty bare bones. So, I thought I could do a book that put some flesh on the bones, so to speak.”


Oliver, who became Catholic in 1995, said part of his motivation was living according to Pope John Paul II’s position that “we should never separate our religion from our work."


“The research was interesting, because I cross between the traditional criminal justice literature and then the Catholic literature to form the book,” he said. “I then tried to weave the Catholic perspective into an understanding of how the criminal justice system would be ordered if based on Catholic social teaching.” 

In doing so, Oliver found that to a large degree the answer was restorative and community justice, “two concepts of justice that have been growing in both practice and theory for the past 25 years,” he said.


Catholic Perspectives on Crime and Criminal Justice is available for around $60 on the Lexington Books Web site, and Barnes and


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Profs Receive $10k Grant To Study Minority Mortality

Two economics and international business department faculty members will research the effect of economic growth on mortality for Hispanics and Native Americans thanks to a grant from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.

The $10,000 grant will allow assistant professors Fidel Gonzalez and Troy Quast to be part of a team consisting of researchers from Sam Houston State University and from the University of New Mexico.

“It is hoped that the research sponsored by this grant will eventually expand into a broader investigation into the factors that determine mortality rates for U.S. minorities,” the grant proposal said.

Money from the grant will sponsor student assistants on the project, travel to conferences and data acquisition.

The researchers will eventually submit their findings to leading journals in the field of health economics.


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Grad Earns NSF Fellowship, A&M Scholarship

Zachary Bethune, a May 2008 economics graduate, was recently awarded a $12,000 fellowship from the National Science Foundation to support preparatory work for his candidacy in Texas A&M University’s economics doctoral program.


The fellowship will provide Bethune with travel, tuition, room and board and a $3600 stipend for his summer work at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the host institution for the American Economic Association’s Summer Training Program.

“Zach is one of only 22 participants in the summer training program chosen from a nationwide pool of applicants, and one of just six participants who will be enrolled in the advanced level of the program, designed for exceptionally well-prepared students who show the greatest potential for graduate work,” said program coordinator Ece Akca.

The AEA Summer Training Program, which began in 1974, seeks to prepare talented undergraduates for doctoral programs in economics and related disciplines by offering a unique opportunity for students to gain technical skills in economics, and conduct research with prominent faculty. 

In addition to the NSF fellowship, Bethune has also been awarded an assistanceship for graduate study in economics by Texas A&M, which will include a full tuition scholarship and a stipend to cover living expenses for four years of study toward his doctorate.

Bethune will begin at Texas A&M in the fall.


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Chemistry Awards Scholarships, Fellowships

The chemistry department recognized its students during its annual awards ceremony in April on the first floor and foyer of the Chemistry and Forensic Science Building. 

Scholarship recipients included Jessica Berry, who received the James C. Stallings Scholarship; Kathy Navasard, who received the Ray E. Humphrey Scholarship; Jenna Sassie, who received the Jeffrey E. Zagone Scholarship; Sara Townsend, who received the Chemistry Alumni Scholarship; and Sarah Martin, who received the Jason L. Moore Scholarship.

Chemistry Academic Scholarships were awarded to Charity Béhérec, Kristin Boykin, Jeneé Farrar, Brittney Gonzalez, Amanda Henneke, Kristen Mack, Lauren Mondin, Rebecca Montes, Daniel Moore, Elizabeth Nesselrode, Trisha O’Bryon, Kristen Pelo, Ashley Pipkin, Laurie Raesz, Donald Ramirez, Katelyn Slayter, James Spurlin, Katelyn Stafford and Emily Young. 

In addition, Robert A. Welch Fellowships for research to be conducted this summer were awarded to Lauren Bartlett, Radhika Burra, Patricia Chapela, Jonathon Childress, Jeneé Farrar, James Fox, Brittney Gonzalez, John Mayor, Phong Ngo, Sajini Randeniya, Rebeca Reyna, Michael Towler and Timothy Weaver. 

Karl Kuklenz also received a Department of Energy Research Fellowship for research to be conducted this summer. 

Also recognized were students graduating at the end of the spring or summer, including Krista Baldys, Stephanie Banuelos, Derek Blaylock, Allison Burns, Wei Chang, Cody Ermis, James Fox, David Gillaspie, William Hoffmann, Rachael Malfer, Ami Massenburg, Katie Rothlisberger, Ranson Stillwell and Ashley Valdez.


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For electronic access to SHSU news see the Public Relations Web page Today@Sam.



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SHSU Media Contacts: Frank Krystyniak, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
June 12, 2008
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