SHSU Update For Week Of Nov. 1



Week To Bring French Culture To SHSU

The department of foreign languages will share the French and Francophone cultures with SHSU with a week of movies, poetry and cuisine beginning Wednesday (Nov. 4).

National French Week will kick off with the 2nd annual French Film Festival opening showing of “Persepolis.” All film festival showings will be held at 5 p.m. in Academic Building IV’s Olson Auditorium.

Based on the comic strips of Marjanne Satrapi, “Persepolis” is a coming-of-age story of a young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution and how she has to adapt when her parents send her to Vienna to study in order to have a better life. “Persepolis” was nominated for an Academy Award in the “best animated feature film” category in 2008.

On Thursday (Nov. 5), as many as 40 students will be judged on French pronunciation, intonation and presentation during the 5th annual French Poetry Reading, at 5 p.m. in the Olson Auditorium.

The movie festival will continue on Friday (Nov. 6), with the French classic “Le Papillon,” the story of an old man and a young girl who bond during a trip to the French Alps in search of a rare butterfly.

On Nov. 9, “Joyeux Noel” will be presented. The film details what happens on the Christmas Eve of 1914, in the Western Front in France in World War I, when the Scottish, the German and the French troops have a moment of truce and share moments of peace and friendship, and the fallout that results when their superiors become aware of the event.

On Nov. 10, students can sample French delicacies such as breads, quiches, cheese, beverages and more at the French Cuisine Tasting at 6 p.m. at the newly-opened CJava Barista in the Criminal Justice Center.

Finally, the week will end on Nov. 11 with a last film festival showing of “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg,” the story of a couple who are separated by a disapproving family and the war in Algeria.

National French Week is also sponsored by the French Club and the Student Activities Department.

For more information, contact Shirin Edwin, assistant professor of French, at 936.294.4732 or at


Back to top

Seminar To Focus On Animals, Bacteria

Tim Johnson, a professor in the University of Minnesota’s department of veterinary and biomedical sciences, will give a presentation on his current research on bacterial plasmids within animals on Thursday (Nov. 5).

The Biological Sciences Department Seminar Series lecture will be held from 4-5 p.m. in Lee Drain Building Room 214.

Johnson’s laboratory focuses on the “pathogenomics of bacteria causing disease in production animals” in order to get a “better understanding the mechanisms of virulence and antimicrobial resistance employed by bacterial pathogens of poultry, swine, and cattle” and to find out the potential threat some strains may present toward humans and other animals, according to his University of Minnesota faculty page.

“This seminar will present an overview of the virulence plasmids of E. coli, the work done in our laboratory towards understanding virulence plasmid distribution and evolution, and recent approaches applied in our laboratory to study microbial (and plasmid) diversity among entire bacterial communities,” said Aaron Lynne, SHSU assistant professor of molecular microbiology.

Held each Thursday, the seminar series is intended for the public and addresses current research being conducted by a guest professor in a way that the general public can understand.

For more information, contact Chad Hargrave, assistant professor of biological sciences, at 936.294.1543.


Back to top


SHSU Prof To Give Physics Colloquium

Joel Walker, SHSU physics professor, will discuss his research, ""F-ast Proton Decay," on Wednesday (Nov. 4).

The Physics Colloquium lecture will be held from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 209.

Morosan earned his doctorate from Texas A&M University.

For more information, call the physics department at 936.294.1601.


Back to top


Spanish Faculty To Celebrate Mexico’s ‘Dead’ Day

The foreign languages department will celebrate the “El día de los muertos” by serving a festive treat on Monday (Nov. 2).

“The 31st of October is our Halloween, the eve of All Hallows, which is All Saints Day,” said Norma Williamson, Spanish pool faculty member. “A pre-Christian religious concept was that the division between the living and the dead was opened and that the dead returned briefly to visit their old homes around this time.

“So what we call Halloween, the Mexicans call ‘The Day of the Dead,’” she said.

For “El día de los muertos,” however, it is the dead who get the treats instead of the children.

“Families also go to the cemetery and leave the dead person's favorite food and drink, in small samples,” Williamson said. “The expanded tradition says that adults return on All Saints Day, Nov. 1, and children on All Souls Day, Nov. 2.”

For the Spanish program’s celebration, faculty will serve pan de muertos y café in the second floor lobby of Academic Building IV on Monday (Nov. 2), from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Pan de muertos, or bread for the day of the dead is a traditional food for the day and may be eaten on the 31st, 1st or 2nd,” Williamson said. “It is usually a round roll with a little ball of dough on top representing the skull and an ‘x’ of dough representing the bones.

"It is a sweet bread with cinnamon made from Frida Kahlo's recipe," she said.

While there, students, faculty and staff can also learn about the Mexican culture through art pieces from Williamson’s collection that are related to the traditional observance, including tin, clay and wooden figures.

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


Back to top

Ceremony To Showcase Sado Tradition

Students from the Japanese Culture Club will introduce the tradition of Sado on Wednesday (Nov. 4), from 2-3 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

During the event, club members will explain Sado, a Japanese tea ceremony, and Japanese student Kanako Fuwa will demonstrate how to make and drink green tea.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in the ceremony and have green tea.

In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in the Academic Building IV lobby.

For more information, call the foreign languages department at 936.294.1441 or contact Yuki Waugh, Japanese instructor and adviser to the culture club, at


Back to top

Inaugural Concert To Feature New Group

The School of Music will introduce its newest student-run group, the SHSU Brass Choir, on Tuesday (Nov. 3).

The inaugural performance, which will include guest conductors Carol Smith and James Bankhead, will be held at 7:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church.

“Most of the pieces involve seven to 10 players and selections will cover a wide range of styles,” said Randy Adams, associate professor of trumpet.

Admission is free.

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


Back to top

Profs Travel To Thailand To Spread Literacy Knowledge

LLSP professors Debra Price, Len Breen and Mary Robbins (center) with the other principle speakers at the Thailand Reading Conference held at the Open University in Bangkok.

College of Education professors Len Breen, Debra Price and Mary Robbins shared their knowledge on literacy with Thailand during a recent trip to the country.

The three, all professors in the college’s language, literacy and special populations department, and reading doctoral students Kanya Wuttikiepaiboon and Dusadee Rangseechatchawan, travelled to Thailand Aug. 26 through Oct. 6.

While there Breen, Price and Robbins were speakers at the first annual conference of the Thai Reading Association, an affiliate of the International Reading Association, held at the Open University in Bangkok.

They also made presentations to the faculties of Thepsatri Rajabhat University in Lop Buri and The Chiang Mai Rajabhat University in Chiang Mai. Topics of their presentations included: building comprehensive literacy programs for grades pre-kindergarten through 12; planning a university program for literacy education; strategies for helping struggling readers and writers; and how to help university students read with greater understanding.

In addition, the three met with administrators of both universities to discuss both the on-line master's degree program and the doctoral program in reading at Sam Houston State University.

“Administrators there see SHSU's programs as a possible way to extend the training and possible graduate degrees for their education faculties,” Breen said.


Back to top


Debate Team Wins Tournament, Ranks First In Report

The SHSU speech and debate team is now ranked first in the International Public Debate Association’s national varsity rankings after bring home two more victories, winning the University of Arkansas at Monticello and the Louisiana State University-Alexandria Oak Tree Swing tournaments.

The association includes a wide range of universities of various sizes, with most coming from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas, according to speech and debate team coach Adam Key.

For the LSUA tournament, held Oct. 23-25, the team not only won the tournament itself but “we closed out the final round as both the teams of Adam Key/Jeremy Coffman and Addison Reed/Clayton Goss won their semifinal rounds,” Key said.

Key and Coffman went undefeated the entire tournament in the team division, and winning speaking awards were Adesuwa Omoruyi, second place, and Key, fifth place.

Other awards included for the varsity division: Coffman, octofinalist; Clayton Goss, semifinalist; Omoruyi, second place; and speaker awards for Grayson Posey (fourth place) and Goss (third place). For the professional division: Addison Reed, quarterfinalist; Key, semifinalist; and fifth place speaker award for Reed. In the novice division, Heather Linder, fifth place speaker award.

“As a whole, the team won the 2nd place Sweepstakes award, given for the conglomerated points from all four divisions, which is a first for the team,” Key said.

For the UAM tournament, Oct. 9-11, Goss was undefeated in the tournament, winning all six preliminary rounds, as well as four elimination rounds to become the tournament champion in the varsity division.

Omoruyi, Coffman and Posey were octofinalists, with Goss and Omoruyi taking the third and fourth place speaker awards, respectively, while novices Robert Trevino and Linder were double octofinalists. The tournament was Linder’s first in which to compete, according to Key.

Nationally, the team leads in the varsity division with 76 season points, Goss holds the No. 1 national ranking, Coffman is ranked third and Omoruyi is ranked fifth.

“I’m very proud of them. Universities are ultimately about the intellectual activities, and it’s really impressive what they do,” said John de Castro, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “They’re presenting themselves in very professional ways, they’re being coherent under pressure and in front of groups, they’re making arguments on the fly, they have to prepare really well ahead of time.

“There are all kinds of things that go into this that are wonderful warm ups for life in general,” he said.


Back to top


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.



- END -


SHSU Media Contacts: Bruce Erickson, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Oct. 30, 2009
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to




This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office
Director: Bruce Erickson
Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
Located in the 115 Administration Building
Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to



SHSU 'In the News'


Brian Domitrovic, assistant professor of history, appeared on Book TV (C-SPAN) May 1-2, speaking about his recent book "Econoclasts: The Rebels Sparked the Supply Side Revolution and Restored American Prosperity" (


Houston Chronicle education writer Jeannie Kever recently turned to Regents Professor of English Paul Ruffin for his views on university presses moving toward "digital books" as opposed to traditional ink-on-paper."We're fulfilling the ancient role of the university press, and that is to produce books," said Paul Ruffin, the Texas poet laureate for 2009 and director of the Texas Review Press at Sam Houston State University. "I don't want to give up the book because it is an art."


Faculty/Staff Birthdays


Monday, May 3

Debbie Birdwell


Tuesday, May 4

Rhonda Callaway

David Gaines

James Walker


Staff Council Spotlights


Jennifer Davis

Sonya Ramirez

Molly Doughtie

Sam Houston State University Sam Houston State UniversityA Member of The Texas State University System

"The measure of a Life is its Service."