SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 4



Lecture To Address Electronic Systems Topology

University of Texas assistant professor of physics Gregory Fiete will share his work with “Exploring topology in electronic systems” during his physics colloquium lecture on Tuesday (Oct. 6).

The presentation will be held from 3-4 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 209.

Fiete’s interests in condensed matter physics span a wide range of topics but focus primarily on the quantum behavior of strongly correlated electrons, according to SHSU physics professor Barry Friedman.

“One of the central goals is to understand what types of novel and unexpected behaviors can arise from the interplay of quantum mechanics and strong correlations,” he said. “Such issues underlie our current understanding of frustrated magnets, quantum wires, and behavior of two-dimensional electrons in a strong perpendicular magnetic field.”

One of his current research interests is looking for new venues to realize topological aspects of quantum matter and work out their implication for various experiments.

Fiete received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Purdue University and his doctorate in theoretical condensed matter physics from Harvard University in 2003.

He also completed postdoctoral work at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and also at the California Institute of Technology as a Lee A. DuBridge Prize Fellow in Theoretical Physics.

For more information, call the physics department at 936.294.1601.


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Kansas Prof To Discuss Plant Evolution

Dan Crawford, an adjunct professor of plant systematics at the University of Kansas, will discuss his work on island plant evolution, including recent advances in the field on Thursday (Oct. 8).

“Green Gems on Specks of Lava in Vast Oceans: Origin and Evolution of Island Plants,” the Biological Science Department Seminar Series lecture, will be presented from 4-5 p.m. in Lee Drain Building Room 214.

One of the leading plant biologists, Crawford has devoted much of his career to solving problems associated with the rapid evolutionary radiations of plants on oceanic islands, with a focus on the sunflower family and its evolution on the Canary and Juan Fernandez islands, according to Christopher Randle, assistant professor in SHSU’s department of biological sciences.

“He has been a key figure in developing the science of the global conservation of island plants,” Randle said. “He was one of the first scientists to use genetic data in studying evolution of plants.”

Crawford has authored more than 200 papers, several books, numerous book chapters, and has mentored many leading scientists in the field.

A professor emeritus at Ohio State University, he has been recognized with lifetime achievement awards from the American Society of Plant Taxonomists and the Botanical Society of America, as well as the ASPT’s Asa Grey Award and the BSA’s Merit Award.

Held each Thursday, the seminar series is open to 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.


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Programs To Introduce Students To SMMC Services

The Student Money Management Center will give students budgeting tips and teach them about the services the center provides in a fun atmosphere with two events beginning Wednesday (Oct. 7).

That day, the Kat2Kat Peer Counseling program will present a budgeting workshop from 4-5 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 320.

“Budgeting is a proven effective money management tool that our center routinely teaches,” said Jacki Brossman-Ashorn, assistant director for Bearkat OneCard Services and the Student Money Management Center.

The presentation will be the first given by the Kat2Kat program, which is designed to provide students with an unbiased financial planning service implemented and executed by upperclassmen who “are qualified to assist fellow students with a wide variety of financial topics,” Brossman said.

In addition the Kat2Kat program offers counseling sessions from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays through Fridays and 3-5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, as well as by appointment.

“We are excited to introduce this new program to the SHSU students and see it as an additional avenue our center can utilize to promote financial literacy to the students,” Brossman said.

On Thursday (Oct. 8), the center will promote the services it provides, as well as the CashCourse Web site, during the Student Money Management Carnival from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

CashCourse is an online financial education Web site provided by the National Endowment for Financial Education, an independent, nonprofit foundation committed to educating Americans on a broad range of financial topics, according to Brossman.

During the carnival, students can also receive handouts, sno cones, popcorn and giveaways, as well as participate in games.

For more information, contact the Student Money Management Center at 936.294.2600 or


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Teacher Job Fair Attracts 65 Schools

Representatives from approximately 65 schools and school districts will be talking to potential employees during the Fall Teacher Job Fair on Wednesday (Oct. 7).

The fair, open to all students and alumni, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

Recruiters from districts from Texas’ metropolitan areas, as well as smaller school districts and a few private schools, will visit with any student or alumnus who may be interested in a position.

In addition, agencies such as the North Texas Teacher Job Network for the Dallas area, America Can!, Education Service Center Regions 3, 4 and 6 will be available to discuss other employment possibilities.

Students are encouraged to bring copies of resumes and dress professionally.

Before the fair, on Monday (Oct. 5), students can polish and perfect their résumés during the Effective Résumé Writing lunchtime workshop from noon to 1 p.m. and learn how to “work” the job fair with a workshop from 4-5 p.m.

After the fair, students can brush up on “Successful Interviewing Skills” with a workshop on Thursday (Oct. 8), from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

All workshops, which are limited to 35 students, will be held in the Career Services Seminar Room, located in Academic Building IV Suite 210.

For more information, contact Career Services at 936.294.1713 or, or to see a complete list of participating school districts or reserve a spot for the workshops, visit the Jobs 4 Kats Web site at


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Leif Erikson Day Celebration To Include Three Lectures

The foreign languages department and the Society for Norse History and Culture will celebrate Leif Erikson Day with three lectures on Friday (Oct. 9).

The Viking mini-conference, held from 2:30-4 p.m. in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room 140, will include presentations by long-time expert on North American runic inscriptions Richard Nielsen, assistant professor of German James Frankki and Justin Tyree.

The three will discuss the Viking presence in North America as early as the 6th Century with lectures on “Modern Myths About the Kensington Runestone,” “Finding Vinland” and “A Viking Runestone in Oklahoma?”

The event is also sponsored in part by the SHSU history department.

For more information, contact Frankki at 936.294.1442 or


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Gallery Talk To Feature Authors Monday, Colley

Authors Jane Monday and Betty Bailey Colley will discuss and sign copies of their books “Voices of the Wild Horse Desert” and “The Master Showmen of King Ranch: The Story of Beto and Librado Maldonado” on Wednesday (Oct. 7), at 5 p.m. in the Katy and E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center Auditorium.

“The Master Showman of King Ranch” and “Voices from the Wild Horse Desert” tell the stories of two of the most legendary ranches in Texas, the King and Kenedy Ranches.

“Instrumental in the success and endurance of these ranches has been their workforce of vaqueros and their families,” said museum marketing coordinator Megan Buro. “These books by Jane Clements Monday and Betty Bailey Colley give readers a glimpse of a true cowboy, the vaquero, and lets their story be told.”

Monday is a past mayor and current resident of Huntsville.

She has served as the chair of the Texas State University System Board of Regents, was the Texas Public Commissioner to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and a former president of the University of Texas at Austin Texas Exes. She is also a UT distinguished alumna.

Other books Monday has coauthored include “Petra’s Legacy: The South Texas Ranching Empire of Petra Vela and Mifflin Kenedy,” with Francis Brannen Vick, and “From Slave to Statesman: The Legacy of Joshua Houston, Servant to Sam Houston,” with Patricia Smith Prather.

Colley is a retired educator who taught for 20 years at the elementary, secondary, and college levels, was also a public information officer in administration, and served on the school board for several years.

She also has collaborated with Monday on the book “Tales of the Wild Horse Desert.”

For more information, call Buro at 936.294.3839 or the Sam Houston Memorial Museum at 936.294.1832.


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Museum Day, Lecture Part Of Archeology Month Activities

In honor of archeology month in Texas, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and the Texas Historical Commission will host a number of activities, including fairs, mock digs, speakers and school presentations throughout the month.

Beginning Friday (Oct. 9), the museum, in conjunction with the Texas Archeological Society, will host fourth grade students from Scott Johnson Elementary, who will learn about spear throwing, pottery making, hot rock cooking, flint knapping and compass reading.

On Oct. 15, the museum’s collections department will sponsor a talk featuring Douglas Mangum, archeologist with Moore Archeological Consulting, who will present on the new discoveries from the San Jacinto Battlefield Survey, including details of artifacts recovered and how historical research, GIS mapping and battlefield archeology combined to determine what happened at the site.

The presentation will be held at 7 p.m. at the Katy and E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center.

“Earlier this year investigations were conducted on private property more than a mile south of the battlefield,” said Sandy Rogers, museum collections registrar. “These investigations helped identify the location where a mass surrender of Mexican troops occurred in the hours after the battle.

“Nearly 1,000 battle-related artifacts were recovered during the survey through the use of metal detecting,” she said.

A number of the artifacts recovered will be displayed during the free presentation.

For more information on archeology month events, call Rogers at 936.294.4712.


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Honour Society Hosting Drive For Local Schools

The Sam Houston State University Golden Key International Honour Society will be collecting supplies for Huntsville schools through Oct. 19.

Donations will be accepted for items such as markers, crayons, pencils, scissors, spiral notebooks, folders, glue and all other usual school supplies, as well as 9 x 12 construction paper, Kleenex boxes, quart and gallon-sized resealable bags, baby wipes and hand sanitizer.

“After an international success, with ‘Books for Africa,’ Golden Key hopes to help many students in Huntsville ISD who may not have the needed supplies, in order to better prepare them for a new academic year,” said Jocelyn Rex, Golden Key member.

The drive is open to members of the campus, who can donate items in decorated boxes located in the Student Activities’ Office, in the Lowman Student Center Suite 328, and Smith-Hutson Business Building Room 107.

Current Golden Key members can bring supplies to the Oct. 14 meetings and get points for donations.

For more information on the school supply drive or the SHSU chapter of Golden Key, e-mail


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Music To Host Guest Guitar, Violin Concerts

The School of Music will host a “duet” of string concerts beginning Monday (Oct. 5).

The Texas Guitar Quartet concert will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Recital Hall.

Comprised of SHSU adjunct professor of guitar Alejandro Montiel, as well as Isaac Bustos, Jonathan Dotson and Oscar Villanueva, the quartet will give the Texas premiere of a 19th century set of variations by French composer Antoine de L'Hoyer, “which could quite possibly be the first work written specifically for this instrumentation,” according to Montiel.

The program will also include works by J. S. Bach, Luigi Boccherini, Paulo Bellinati, Maurice Ravel and a collaboration with SHSU faculty cellist Daniel Saenz on an arrangement of Heitor Villalobos' "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5."

Since its inception in 2005, the Texas Guitar Quartet is quickly being recognized as one of Texas’s top guitar ensembles, whose members have all garnered acclaim and critical praise as soloists on concert stages around the world and in a multitude of international guitar competitions, Montiel said.

On Wednesday (Oct. 7), assistant professor of piano Ilonka Rus and sister violinists Rodica Oancea Gonzalez and Mihaela Oancea Frusina will perform a chamber concert as part of the Guest Artist Series.

The performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

During the event, the trio, who performed together last year at Carnegie Hall in New York, will play two sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven, Rus said.

Earlier that day, the sisters, who both play with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, will conduct a violin master class from 4-6 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

Admission is free for all of the performances.

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

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Concerts To Provide American, World ‘Experiences’

Symphony and vocal concerts are among those scheduled for the School of Music during Homecoming weekend.

The SHSU Symphony Orchestra will provide “The American Experience,” performing two iconic pieces by 20th Century American composers on Friday (Oct. 9).

The concert, conducted by director of orchestral studies David Cole, will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the University Heights Baptist Church.

The program features Leonard Bernstein's "Candide" overture and George Gershwin's "An American in Paris" and the second performance of the piano concerto by Trent Hanna, professor of composition and theory at SHSU, who will also perform as the piano soloist in the concerto.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for SHSU students and seniors, and free for SHSU music students and SHSU faculty and staff with an ID.

On Saturday (Oct. 10), guest artist Anné-Marie Condacse, a vocal faculty member at Oklahoma State University, will perform at 5 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

The Guest Artist Series recital will feature the Romanian-born soprano performing “a delightful mix of gypsy dances by A. Dvorak, Sephardic songs by A. Hemsi and a couple of Romanian pieces by G. Enesco,” along with SHSU assistant professor of piano Ilonka Rus, according to Rus.

Condacse will also give a vocal master class from 2-4 p.m. on Friday in the Recital Hall.

Admission is free.

For more information, call the School of Music at 936.294.1306.


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NCATE To Visit College Of Education

The Sam Houston State University College of Education will host the board of examiners from The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Oct. 10-14.

SHSU has been accredited by NCATE, the pre-eminent national accreditation agency, since 1954.

NCATE is a non-profit, non-governmental alliance of 33 national associations that support quality teaching.

“Essentially the process assures that teachers are competent, caring, and qualified to help students learn,” said Jessica Garrett, College of Education NCATE coordinator. “NCATE also ensures that accredited institutions remain current and productive and that our graduates are able to have a positive impact on P-12 student learning.

“NCATE and SHSU believe every student deserves a caring, competent, and highly qualified teacher,” she said.

For more information, contact Garrett at 936.294.1956.


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Foreign Languages Profs Honored For Work

Four foreign languages professors were recently recognized for their excellence in teaching, research and overall contributions to SHSU.

Enrique Mallén, professor of Spanish, has been selected for induction as an “honorary member” of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

The selection was based on his contribution to Sam Houston State University as director of the On-Line Picasso Project, according to Debra Andrist, foreign languages chair.

The induction ceremony will be held on campus on Nov. 4.

David Gerling, associate professor of Spanish, and Rafael Saumell-Muñoz, professor of Spanish, were selected by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences as repeat winners of the foreign languages department “Excellence in Teaching Award” and foreign languages department “Excellence in Research Award,” respectively.

The awards were presented during the CHSS general meeting on Sept. 30.

Finally, Andrist was selected by the SHSU Faculty Senate as the “Academic Leadership by Department Chairs” award winner for the 2008-2009 academic year. The ceremony was held on Sept. 9.

“The award was a wonderful surprise as the senate had invited me to tell them about all the new things happening in FOL (the foreign languages department), which I also did at the meeting,” she said.


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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: Bruce Erickson, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Oct. 2, 2009
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Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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