SHSU Update For Week Of Jan. 25



Fraternity To Address Myths, Pressures Of ‘Drug Rush’

Members of the Theta Chi fraternity will discuss the laws, limits and liabilities of alcohol and drugs use and how consumption can affect college life and beyond on Monday (Jan. 26).

“Drug Rush,” an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative event, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

“Students feel that rushing only involves Greek life, but this is not necessarily the case,” said Lisa Joyner, ADAI assistant. “Rushing can take place in organizations that do not have to deal with Greek life, such as in honorary organizations and sports.”

While the media may portray drinking and hazing as something that simply happens within college life, especially within fraternities and sororities, and students think that fatal consequences won’t happen to them, this is not always the case, Joyner said.

“This session will be important to all students, to learn about peer pressure and what to do in the face of peer pressure and how things in the media are not 100 percent true,” she said. “You have to make the smart decisions for yourself.

“Students are here to learn and make smart decisions and have fun, but academics comes first, and making decisions that can take you away from academics is not a smart choice,” Joyner said.

“Drug Rush” is part of the ADAI’s Six Weeks of Alcohol Awareness Training program, an educational series aiming to increase awareness of alcohol abuse issues among students.

Through the program, students earn prizes by attending events, which accumulate as students attend more programs.

For more information, contact Rosanne Keathley, ADAI coordinator, at 936.294.1171 or


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‘Sammy’ Awards Nominations Sought

Lois Kolkhorst at the Sammys

State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst (center) receives "The Sammy Award," given for her outstanding contribution to SHSU, during the 2008 ceremony.

The Student Activities Department is seeking SHSU’s outstanding students, organizations and advisers for the 15th Annual Sammy Awards.

"The Sammys is Sam Houston State University's official student award ceremony,” said Brandon Cooper, event manager for Student Activities. “It's truly a way for the university to recognize the outstanding students and organizations that we have.

“For 15 years the Sammys’ focus has been honoring the amazing contributions that students and faculty/staff make at SHSU,” he said. “It's the university's way of saying thank you to those individuals and groups."

Sammy awards will be given to 18 individuals and organizations, and approximately four will be given to graduating students and faculty or staff members for outstanding contributions and service to the university, which require nominations from members of the university community at-large.

In addition, five individual awards representing excellent service from a student in each of the five colleges at SHSU will be awarded, which require nominations strictly made from members of the SHSU faculty within each student’s particular college, according to Cooper.

Students nominated for individual awards must have a minimum overall grade point average of 2.5 and meet the minimum hours required for the class standings in which they are nominated.

Nomination forms, due by 5 p.m. on Feb. 13, should be returned to the Department of Student Activities, located in the Lowman Student Center Suite 328; through campus mail to SHSU Box 2507; or faxed to 936.294.3652.

This year’s Sammy Awards ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on April 15 in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

For more information, call 936.294.3861 or e-mail


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Latin Concert To Celebrate Organization’s Movement

The SHSU School of Music will help welcome the Southwest Council of Latin American Studies to campus with a performance of music from the area on Thursday (Jan. 29).

The Latin American music concert will be held 7:30-8:45 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

The evening will include performances by the SHSU Jazz Ensemble; the percussion ensemble, playing marimbas; the SHSU Faculty String Quartet; and a solo by Director of Keyboard Studies Sergio Ruiz, among others.

In addition, Ruiz will introduce the program in both English and Spanish, and foreign languages department chair Debra Andrist will give a welcome and discuss the honored organization.

SCOLAS, currently housed at Baylor University, will make SHSU its official institutional home in March, according to Andrist.

The concert, expected to last approximately an hour and 20 minutes, is free and open to the concert. A reception will also follow.

For more information, call the School of Music at 936.294.1360 or Andrist at 936.294.1441.


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Music To Tune Up Semester With Concert, Festival

The SHSU School of Music will open the semester by presenting its “various voices” during a faculty recital and a cello festival beginning Tuesday (Jan. 27).

That evening, music faculty will perform pieces from composers around the world during “Various Voices,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

The recital will feature Kathy Daniel (flute), Patricia Card (clarinet), Ilonka Rus (piano), Mary Kay Lake (soprano) and Hayoung Lim (cello). They will perform Brazilian pieces, as well as works by Handel, a German composer; waltzes by Shostakovich, a Russian composer; and Florent Schmitt, a French composer; among others.

On Thursday (Jan. 29), cellist Mike Block will visit the SHSU campus for the three-day 2nd annual Cello Festival.

That day, Block will work with students in the “String Improv” class, as well as hold a masterclass, in School of Music Building Room 202, at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.

Festival concerts will begin on Friday (Jan. 30) and will include the SHSU Faculty Recital, featuring cellist Daniel Saenz and guest pianist Brendan Kinsella performing the works of Poulenc, Dzubay, and Rachmaninoff at 5:30 p.m.; and a guest artist concert, during which Block will perform original compositions, at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., the guest artist will join the SHSU Cello Studio for a recital featuring the music of Glazunov, Saint Saens, Hindemith, Tchaikovsky and Block. All three of the Friday and Saturday concerts will be held in the Recital Hall.

Known for his non-traditional pizzicato and improvisational abilities, Block regularly performs with a number of musical groups, including his own band.

He has also appeared on a number of television shows, including VH1, Live with Regis and Kelly, Late Night with Conan O'Brian, and he performed with Yo-Yo Ma and Allison Krauss on the CBS Early Show.

Kinsella, who is described as a “sensitive musician with an ear for color,” has appeared widely throughout the United States and Asia.
Beginning piano at age 11, he made his concerto debut at 15 with the Kentucky Symphony.

Kinsella earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the College-Conservatory of Music and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

All events, including Tuesday’s faculty concert, are free and open to the public.

For more information, call the School of Music at 936.294.1360.


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Group To Host Charity ‘Climb For Koanaka’

The biological sciences department’s paleobiology lab will “Climb for Koanaka” on Saturday (Jan. 31), with a charity climbing event.

The Koanaka Kids Project event, open to the public, will be held from noon to 5 p.m. at the Health and Kinesiology Center’s rock climbing wall.

The Koanaka Kids Project is a group dedicated to helping orphans from Botswana, Africa, by providing them with clothes, shoes and toys, according to member Sophia Aguayo.

While the event is mainly an open climb, “friendly” competitions will also be held at the wall, she said.

The event is $5 to climb, and T-shirts will also be sold for $5, with all proceeds benefitting needy Botswana children, many of whom are AIDS orphans. Snacks will be provided.

In addition, “Climb for Koanaka” T-shirts will be available with a donation to the first 75 participants.

SHSU biology faculty members and students have been traveling to Botswana since 2007 for research purposes.

Plans to continue the research efforts in the area are currently being made,” Aguayo said. “Several students from the paleobiology lab, along with Drs. Patrick Lewis and Monte Thies, will be going to Botswana to excavate fossils and document the modern fauna at the Koanaka Hills in July 2009.”

For more information on “Climb for Koanaka,” contact Aguayo at


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SAM Center To Give Study Tips

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center will teach students to “study smart” with a workshop series beginning on Monday (Jan. 26).

The first Study Skills Workshop Series is comprised of six one-hour sessions that focus on studying smart, procrastination, time management, reading textbooks and note taking, test taking strategies and stress management.

Sessions will be held on a variety of days and times to accommodate student schedules.

A late-start session will begin Feb. 18, with sessions held at 5 p.m. through April 1, and a second session will begin on March 16.

All sessions will be held in the SAM Center, now located in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room 170.

Space is limited, and students are encouraged to call or stop by the SAM Center to sign up.

For more information, call 936.294.4444 or e-mail


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May Graduation Applications Due Wednesday

Students who anticipate graduating in May are to file degree applications by Wednesday (Jan. 28) with the Registrar’s Office.

Those who fail to apply by the deadline will be assessed a $25 late application fee in addition to the $25 graduation fee.

Applying late may also result in names not appearing in the commencement program or the honors program.

Final exams will be held May 11-14, with a study day scheduled for May 8, and commencement is scheduled for May 15-16.

The Registrar’s Office is located on the third floor of the Estill Building.

For more information, call 936.294.1040.


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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
Jan. 23, 2009
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