SHSU Update For Week Of Feb. 8



Limbless Man To Discuss ‘Life Without Limits’

Nick VujicicNick Vujicic, who was born without arms and legs, will discuss overcoming obstacles that hinder people from reaching their full potential on Feb. 17.

“Life Without Limits,” an “inspirational message of hope and encouragement,” will be presented at 2:30 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

“In life, one occasionally has the opportunity to cross paths with an individual who has the ability to profoundly impact the lives of others,” said Keith Lott, director of the Student Health Center, which is cosponsoring the event. “I believe that Mr. Vujicic is one of those people.”

Born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia, Vujicic spent his childhood not only dealing with the average challenges of childhood, such as bullying and self-esteem issues, but also with depression and the loneliness of being different from everyone else, according to his Web site.

But Vujicic persevered, going on to earn a double bachelor’s degree in accounting and financial planning before taking on the motivational speaking circuit at age 19.

He now travels the globe with his message, which transcends demographic and socioeconomic differences, according to Lott.

In addition, he is the president of an international non-profit organization and owns his own motivational speaking company, Attitiude is Altitude.

“Life Without Limits” is also sponsored by the Counseling Center, Dean of Students’ Office and the Student Activities department.

Students are asked to bring their Bearkat OneCards in order to get an attendance count.

For more information, contact Sarah Hanel, SHC health programming coordinator, at 936.294.4347 or


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Professor To Lecture On Ideology Of MLK Streets

Derek Alderman, an associate professor of geography at East Carolina University, will discuss “Where Ideology Hits Asphalt: The Politics of Naming Streets for Martin Luther King, Jr.” on Tuesday (Feb. 10).

The lecture, held in conjunction with Black History Month, will be held at 11 a.m. in Lee Drain Building Room 207.

Alderman’s research specializes in the politics of public commemoration and the representation of symbolic landscapes in the American south, paying close attention to the role of African-Americans in shaping and reclaiming the region.

He has been interviewed more than 90 times in the mass media as a result of his contributions to the national dialogue concerning the re-naming of Martin Luther King streets and other commemorative and cultural issues.

According to a 2007 study co-authored by Alderman, there are at least 777 streets in the United States named after the famous Civil Rights activist, 85 percent of which are in the south, where King did most of his work.

“It (MLK street) is assuredly the most widespread and often the most controversial monument to King and the Civil Rights Movement,” he said.

Alderman has won numerous awards for his teaching and research and has been widely published in several academic journals, books and popular media outlets.

He currently serves as the president of the Southeast Division of Association of American Geographers.

The event is sponsored by the department of geography and geology, the Geographers of Sam Houston and Gamma Theta Upsilon.

For more information, contact John Strait, assistant professor of geography, at 936.294.4077 or

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Distinguished Alumnus To Address Cancer Research

Bill Brinkley, a 1985 SHSU distinguished alumnus recipient, will present his research on controlling cell division on Thursday (Feb. 12).

The lecture will be held 4 p.m. in Lee Drain Building Room 214. A social will precede the event at 3 p.m. in LDB Room 144.

“The Aurora Kinases: The ABCs of mitosis and cancer” will focus on the cellular basis of cancer.

“He will be talking about the things that go wrong in a cell that cause it to divide too often and become cancerous,” said Anne Gaillard, assistant professor of biological sciences.

Brinkley received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from SHSU before completing his doctorate in cell biology at Iowa State University in 1964.

He currently serves as the dean of the graduate school of biomedical sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, where he is also a distinguished service professor and vice chairman of the department of molecular and cellular biology.

In addition, an endowed chair was recently named in Brinkley’s honor at Baylor College of Medicine. He also is editor-in-chief of the scientific journal “Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton” and was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, one of the highest honors a scientist can receive.

In addition, Brinkley is the recipient of a “merit award” from the National Institutes of Health, which has funded his research on genetics in cancer cells for more than 35 years.

For more information, contact Gaillard at 936.294.1549 or


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Pastor To Discuss Relationship Between God, Evolution

Two hundred years after Charles Darwin was born and 150 years after his “The Origin of the Species” was published, the Rev. Michael Dowd, author of “Thank God For Evolution,” will bring evolution into a religion context Thursday (Feb. 12).

The lecture, sponsored by the SHSU chapter of Circle K International and the Huntsville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, will be held at 7 p.m. in the Katy and E. Don Walker, Jr., Education Center.

Dowd, an ordained evangelical preacher, and his wife Connie Barlow, an atheist and noted science author, have traveled around North America since 2002 preaching an understanding of evolution that they say is “beyond biology or belief.”

His book, which has been praised by both Nobel laureates and religious leaders, and mobile ministry aim to “give a voice” to a growing movement that doesn’t see conflict between religion and reason.

“The words ‘God’ and ‘evolution’ are pointing to the same divine creative process,” Dowd said on his Web site. “Both help us answer the question, How did we get here? One uses the night language of religion; the other the day language of science.

“I preach a universal gospel that makes traditional religious insights real in ways our faith-earth forefathers could only imagine and attempt to convey through parable and metaphor,” he said. “Fossils now deepen my faith, not test it. I see them as proof positive of the amazing grace that has guided us safely through billions of years of evolution.”

Admission is free, and the event is open to the public.

The Walker Education Center is located at 1402 19th St.

For more information, contact Beth Williamson, Spanish pool faculty member and Circle K International adviser, at or 936.294.1410 or Stuart Williamson, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship program committee member, at 936.295.3170.


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Alumni, Friends To Meet, Greet For SamWorks

Huntsville-area SHSU alumni and friends will have the opportunity to build the Bearkat network on Feb. 19 during SamWorks.

The meet-and-greet event will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Fat Boys.

During the event, participants will be able to visit with Sammy Bearkat, Alumni Association representatives and university administrators. Door prizes will also be given away.

SamWorks is free and open to both Alumni Association members and non-members.

The reservation deadline is Feb. 17.

For more information, or to RSVP, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 936.294.1841.


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Foreign Languages Offers Study Abroad In Spain

SHSU will offer students the opportunity to take their studies overseas this summer as part of the first study abroad in Spain.

Two courses on Spanish art and culture will be offered on the campus of the Universidad Castilla-La Mancha in Toledo, Spain, May 31 to July 2. Both classes will be taught by Enrique Mallen, a professor in the foreign languages department.

While in Spain, students will stay with host families to improve their Spanish, Mallen said.

The family-stay arrangements are made through the Universidad Castilla-La Mancha.

Participants will also take a variety of field trips while in Spain, including Madrid, where they will visit the Museo del Prado and Picasso's Guernica, exhibited in Museo Reina Sofía, as well as Segovia and Barcelona, home of the famous Picasso Museum.

The cost of the program is approximately $4,000, which includes room and board, airline tickets and all organized field trips while in Spain.

Students will be back in Huntsville in time to take classes during the second summer session.
The sign-up deadline is March 30.

For more information, or to sign up, contact Mallen at 936.294.1433 or


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ADAI To Host ‘Club Tini’ Party

White Hall will be transformed into a disco on Thursday (Feb. 12), when the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative teaches students how to navigate the party scene safely during “Club Tini.”

The club will be open from 7-10 p.m. on the first floor of White Hall.

“Club Tini is proof that you don’t have to have alcohol to have a good time,” said Kim Baechtel, ADAI steering committee member. “Great music, great SWAG (give-aways), great people, that’s all you need.”

During the “one-night only disco,” including a live DJ, disco ball, and fog machine, the White Hall lobby will become an arcade, complete with a “tattoo” booth and games that will give students a chance to win points that will qualify them to enter the V.I.P. room.

The event will also include a “drinks” bar, “smokers patio” and “surprises throughout the night” Baechtel said.

“Club Tini was originated by the staff at Estill Hall and is designed to raise awareness about blood alcohol levels, the dangers in making decisions under the influence, the risk of personal injury while drinking, and the real threat of acquaintance rape,” she said.

The Six Weeks of Alcohol Awareness Training program is free and open only to SHSU students, who will be “carded” at the door; therefore, all participants must have their Bearkat One Cards.

For more information, contact Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative coordinator Rosanne Keathley at 936.294.1171.


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Grad Student Fuses Three Dance Types For Concert

Graduate dance student Olney Edmondson will present “Perpetual Essence,” her Master of Fine Arts thesis dance concert, on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 13-14). The concert times are at 8 p.m. in the Academic Building III Dance Theatre.

“Perpetual Essence” combines her love of stepping and miming with dance in two pieces entitled “In His Favor,” and “Beat Keepers,” which fuses step, liturgical mime and modern dance in “a totally new and exciting way,” according to dance professor Cindy Gratz.

The concert is the culmination of a semester’s worth of collaboration, including choreography, dancers and ideas for the thesis itself.

Performing dancers include Edmondson and dance students Chantionette Arnold, Jessica Cantu, Christina Chopin, Ashlee Drake, Heresia Hayes, Stephanie Howell, Brynae Love, Megan Massey, Brittany Roper, Maggie Topelian and Sarah Vaughner.

Arnold, Chopin, Jared Doster, Tristen Ferguson, Miriam Garcia, Hayes, Jose Rosas and Edmondson will also perform Edmondson’s modern “Motion Equals…” and a hip-hop piece “Melodic.”

In addition, SHSU’s Alpha Nu Omega Sorority, Inc., will perform a step dance during the concert as an added bonus, Gratz said.
Admission is free.

For more information, call the dance ticket office at 936.294.3988.


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Tour To Showcase Constellations, Give ‘Moon Dreams’

The physics department will explore Orion, Gemini, Taurus and other constellations currently visible during the “Winter Skies and Moon Dreams” on Friday (Feb. 13).

The planetarium series program will be held at 7 p.m. in the Planetarium, located in Farrington Building Room F102.

“‘Moon Dreams’ is a full-dome program about man’s fascination with the moon, its effects on us, and how we have studied it,” said Michael Prokosch, staff laboratory assistant for the physics department.

The show will last approximately one hour, and admission is free.

“Winter Skies and Moon Dreams” also will be shown March 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and March 27 at 7 p.m. In April, the program will change to showcase spring constellations.

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, according to Prokosch.

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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Professor To Cut Hair, Encourage Sharing ‘Locks Of Love’

The foreign languages department will share the love on Tuesday (Feb. 10) with a “Locks of Love” Valentine’s Day event in front of the Academic Building IV.

That day, at 12:30 p.m., foreign languages department chair Debra Andrist will have at least 10 inches of her hair cut off for the organization.

FaceMaker Salon stylist Windy will also cut the hair of students, faculty or staff members until 1:30 p.m. who would like to make a donation to the cause.

“I have taken my medical Spanish students to M.D. Anderson during the oncology section of the class for years,” Andrist said. “The children who are cancer patients there always haunt me; plus, my mother and a really good friend died of cancer, too.

“Valentine’s Day seemed like a good time to do Locks of Love,” she said.

Further cutting must be arranged and paid for by the participant, though the salon will give a $10 discount for any actual haircut thereafter, according to Andrist.

Valentine’s Day cookies will also be served during the event.

Locks of Love is a public, non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under the age of 18 who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

The prostheses created through hair donations help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers, according to the Locks of Love Web site.

Hair donations must be at least 10 inches long and cannot be bleached.

For more information, call the foreign languages department at 936.294.1441.


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BLC Helps Project Homestead Construction






Bearkat Learning Community members demonstrate that service is an important component of being a Bearkat through their recent participation in Project Homestead, an organization that builds houses in the local community. Active participation in community service is one of the expectations for members of the BLC, according to Bernice Strauss, who helps coordinate the program.

—Submitted photo


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Conference To Show Educators How To ‘Meet The Needs’

The Sam Houston Council for Exceptional Children will teach College of Education students, current teachers or anyone interested in the field of special education how to meet “the needs of all learners” during its 6th Annual SCEC Conference on Feb. 20.

The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Region 6 Education Service Center’s Professional Development Center in Huntsville.

The conference features locally- and nationally-recognized speakers and professors who will provide innovative, student-centered sessions regarding critical topics in the field of special education and educational assessment, according to SCEC president James Williams.

Topics for this year include “Real Parents, Real Thoughts,” during which families discuss the special education system; “What’s Up with High School Transition in Texas,” which discusses recent legislation and its impact on transition planning; “Mnemonic Strategy Instructions: Helping Students Remember;” and “Six Common Teaching Mistakes and What To Do Instead;” among many others.

In addition, Bill Heward, professor emeritus at Ohio State University and president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, will discuss “Ten Faulty Notions about Teaching and Learning That Hinder the Effectiveness of Special Education,” as the event’s keynote speaker.

Participants will receive seven hours of professional development credit.

Registration is $80 or $40 for SHSU undergraduate students with an ID, which includes a light breakfast, a tote bag, door prizes and all conference materials. The registration deadline is Feb. 17, or whenever the maximum capacity is reached.

Registration forms can be found at, and all proceeds benefit the SHSU SCEC.

The Region 6 Service Center is located at 3332 Montgomery Rd.

For more information, contact Williams at 832.452.3155 or or Cynthia Simpson, SHCEC adviser, at 936.294.1238 or

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Send Update Items Here

Information for the SHSU Update can be sent to the Office of Communications electronically at or to any of the media contacts listed below.

Please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

All information for news stories should be sent to the office at least a week in advance to give the staff ample time to make necessary contacts and write the story.

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



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SHSU Media Contacts: Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Feb. 6, 2009
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to




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Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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