SHSU Update For Week Of Jan. 24



Health Center To Offer H1N1 Vaccinations

The Student Health Center will administer the H1N1 vaccine free of charge to SHSU students and employees on Wednesday (Jan. 27), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Atrium.

The center has approximately 2,000 doses of the vaccine, which will be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis.

“H1N1 remains a concern for our campus particularly in the residence halls where it could easily spread,” said Keith Lott, SHC director. “We have been fortunate thus far, but things could change very quickly.

“Health authorities are presenting the possibility that we could experience a resurgence of the virus within the next few months,” he said. “Therefore, we hope to administer the vaccine to as many employees and students as possible now that we have the vaccine.”

In order to receive the vaccination, both students and employees must present their SHSU ID.

Those who are pregnant, nursing, or taking anticoagulants also must present authorization from their physician to receive the vaccine.

For more information, contact the Student Health Center at 936.294.1805.


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CJ Alumni To Get ‘Real’ With Lecture

Two SHSU criminal justice alumni who went on to careers with the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Naturalization Service will discuss their line of work and give tips to students interested in following their paths on Tuesday (Jan. 26).

The “Real Talk with CJ,” featuring special agents William Gibson and Justin Marshall, will be at 2 p.m. in CJava, between the Criminal Justice Center and Bill Blackwood LEMIT Building.

The series is designed to expose students to the different career options they have in the criminal justice field.

A Marine Corps veteran, Gibson earned his bachelor’s degree from SHSU in 1995, after serving in Operation Desert Storm as a 0331 machine gunner.

Currently, Gibson is a senior special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement assigned to the North Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force and a member of the special response team.

He also has worked with the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General and the Air Force Reserves as a Special Agent for the Office of Special Investigations, through which he was assigned to the anti-terrorist specialty team, which handled counter intelligence operations and personal protection details of generals and dignitaries.

Marshall graduated from SHSU in 1996 with a 3.9 grade point average.

He was hired immediately by the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service as a special agent under the outstanding scholar program and has been with INS, now ICE, since.

With ICE, he is a senior special agent assigned to the North Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force and is also a certified member of the special response team, where he serves as a training coordinator and assistant team leader.

Marshall has received numerous awards and letters of achievement while employed by ICE/INS and recently led a multi-agency task force into the dismantlement of a high-level drug cartel cell operating in the Northern Texas area that resulted in numerous arrests and seizures.

For more information on the “Real Talk with CJ,” contact Candice Williams, at


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Colloquium To Feature A&M Physics Professor

Dave Toback, Thaman Professor for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence and associate professor of experimental high energy particle physics at Texas A&M University, will discuss his work "Searching for the particles of the early universe" on Tuesday (Jan. 26).

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

In his lecture, Toback will discuss why many models that can explain the “Dark Matter” observed in the universe today also predict the existence of new fundamental particles, he said.

“In particular I will focus on a powerful theory of particle physics, Supersymmetry, and how it could be discovered in high-energy collider experiments that reproduce the earliest moments after the Big Bang,” Toback said. “I will highlight some of the different experimental techniques and predictions, and concentrate on the state-of-the-art searches at the Tevatron.”

Toback received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991 and his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1997.

In 1998, Dr. Toback joined the DZero collaboration with the University of Maryland, working to search for new particles at the Fermilab Tevatron, before moving to the Texas A&M faculty in 2000.

As co-author of the “Sleuth” quasi-model independent search strategy, he was able to search for new particles in over 40 different final states.

For more information, call the physics department at 936.294.1601.


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Junior Fellows To Host Naturalization Prep Course

Sam Houston State University and the Huntsville Public Library will help bring local immigrants who hope to become United States citizens closer to their “American Dream” with a naturalization exam preparatory course beginning Feb. 8.

The free, five-week course will be held Monday nights through March 8.

The program will help guide immigrants through the citizenship process, covering eligibility, paperwork, interviews and the naturalization exam.

“This is the third year we have partnered with the Huntsville Public Library on this program, and it has worked out very well,” said junior fellows president Daniel North. “Several of the participants have gone on to earn their U.S. citizenship. That benefits everyone.”

The program begins with a session covering an overview of the administrative process of becoming a citizen, followed by a series of programs that cover naturalization exam material.

The sessions alternate between presentations on U.S. history and government by SHSU political science visiting professor Mike Yawn and individualized breakout sessions led by local citizens, as well as a session with an immigration lawyer on the legal aspects of the process.

In the past two years, participants included immigrants from 15 countries, including Pakistan, Great Britain, Mexico, Canada, El Salvador, Germany, Columbia and the Netherlands.

Mazhar Mahmoud, a native of Pakistan who attended sessions in both 2008 and 2009, called the program a “great opportunity.

“I hope this program will continue and give people the opportunity to learn,” Mahmoud said. “It was a great and very interesting experience.”

The program is designed for immigrants with at least an intermediate command of the English language.

The signup deadline is Feb. 5.

For more information, contact Yawn at 936.294.1456 or


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ADAI To Educate On Work-Related Alcohol Effects

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative, along with Career Services, will show students how alcohol and drug use can negatively impact jobs on Thursday (Jan. 28).

“Alcohol + Drugs + Work = Unemployment,” the first Six Weeks of Alcohol Awareness Training program of the semester, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

During the program, participants can get the facts about the ways alcohol and drugs can negatively affect a job, as Career Services counselors guide students through scenarios relating to alcohol and its effect on business relationships and professional reputations.

“Sometimes individuals think that what happens outside of work doesn’t affect them, but it does because you are always representing your place of employment,” said Lisa Joyner, ADAI assistant. “The SHSU career center will presents scenarios that can happen out on the job that are dealing with alcohol and drugs so that students will know how to handle situations when they arise and what different job markets look for in potential hires.

“The unemployment rate for individuals using drugs are on the rise, and we can drastically decrease these problems if we knew the facts,” she said.

The SWAAT program allows 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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Workshop To Teach Business Owners About Scams

Joe Thornton, community services officer for the Huntsville Police Department, will introduce community members and local business owners to potential “Scams, Shams and Flimflams” on Tuesday (Jan. 26).

The SHSU Small Business Development Center presentation will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the center, located at 2424 Sam Houston Ave.

During the seminar, Thornton will explain some current money and identity theft schemes being run and provide practical tips on how business owners can fight back, according to Ce Cowart Schlicher, SBDC consultant/training coordinator.

“The SBDC is hosting this because some old con games have new clothes and are still robbing our businesses and economy of millions of dollars every year,” she said. “Technology has moved so fast, that many business owners and individuals have a hard time telling what is really a scam.

“Identity theft of small businesses—to either their bank account info or customer information—has skyrocketed,” she said.

The seminar is free, and participants are asked to register by noon on Monday (Jan. 25), though walk-ins will be accepted.

Sodas and coffee will be provided, but participants are asked to bring a “brown bag” lunch.

For more information, or to register, call the SBDC at 936.294.3737.

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Music Kicks Off Semester With Cello, Latin Concerts

The School of Music will tune up the semester with a faculty recital and a night of Latin American music beginning Monday (Jan. 25).

Pianists Kaju Lee, an SHSU faculty member, and Michael Zuraw, the artistic director of Aperio Americas will join faculty cellist Daniel Saenz for the performance that day, at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

“Music on the program will span three centuries from Bach to today,” Saenz said. “Highlights will include the Texas premiere of ‘Lejanía Interior,’ a work written by Arturo Márquez for famed Mexican cellist Carlos Prieto, and ‘Le Grand Tango’ by Astor Piazzolla.”

On Thursday (Jan. 28), the foreign languages department will join with the School of Music for a “Celebration of Latin American Music” beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

The evening will include performances of such songs as “Marrianne,” “¡Viva Navarra!” and “Bordel 1900 from Histoire de Tango” by the SHSU Steel Band, as well as performances of such songs as “Samba de los Gatos” and “Juan Pachanga” by the SHSU Jazz Ensemble.

A reception will follow the concert.

Admission is free for both events.

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


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Planetarium To Kick Off More Diversified Program

The SHSU physics department will voyage into the “legends of the night sky” with its first planetarium presentation of the semester on Friday (Jan. 29).

The series, designed to show attendees which constellations, stars and planets they can expect to see in the upcoming weeks, will kick off with a showing of “Legends of the Night Sky: Orion,” from 7-8:15 p.m. in the planetarium, in Farrington Building Room 102.

The presentation, a cartoon, tells the tale Orion, “the might hunter and perhaps most famous constellation of the winter sky,” according to Michael Prokosch, physics department staff laboratory assistant.

Prokosch will also discuss the Mars Opposition happening on Jan. 29 and show “Winter Sky,” which showcases other constellations visible during the season, including Canis Major and Gemini.

While “Legends of the Night Sky: Orion” is a cartoon, Prokosch said it’s “a good one for younger audiences and adults alike.”

This semester, the planetarium series will be broken up into three different showings. “Legends of the Night Sky” will also be shown on Feb. 19, while presentations of “Extreme Planets” will be showed on March 5 and April 30, and “Ibex: Search for the Edge of the Solar System” will be shown April 16, May 7 and May 14.

“I broke up the program this time to try something different,” Prokosch said. “Often I get people who come in to an early show and seem a bit disappointed that there won't be something else for them to see until next semester.”

The programs are also diversified to target certain age groups.

“‘Legends of the Night Sky’ is a cartoon, so kids will enjoy that one, but ‘Ibex’ is more for high school students to adults,” he said.

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


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May Graduation Applications Due Wednesday

Students who anticipate graduating in May are to file degree applications by Friday (Jan. 29) 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.

Students can apply online through SamWeb by going to “student records,” selecting “degree” from the drop down menu and filling out the survey. Online payments can be made with Mastercard, Visa or American Express.

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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‘Sammy’ Awards Nominations Sought

Political Science Junior Felllows Justin Veillon, Megan Bryant, Laken Jenkins, Cameron Goodman accepted their 2009 Sammy Award for "Outstanding Academic/Honorary Student Organization." Bryant also won a Sammy for "Outstanding Junior Student Leader."

The Student Activities Department is seeking SHSU’s outstanding students, organizations and advisers for the 16th Annual Sammy Awards.

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

“For 16 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, available online through the Student Activities Web site, 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. They are due by 5 p.m. on Feb. 10.

This year’s Sammy Awards ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on April 14 in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

For more information, call 936.294.3861 or e-mail


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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: Bruce Erickson, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Jan. 22, 2010
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Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

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