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Today @ Sam

SHSU Update For Week Of July 11




Event To Introduce Football Coach To Alumni

Sam Houston State University graduates and friends will have the opportunity to meet Bearkat head football coach Willie Fritz during the Alumni Association’s North Harris/Montgomery County reception on Aug. 3.

The event will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Amerigo’s Grille, at 25250 Grogans Park Dr. in The Woodlands.

The cost for the reception is $10 for Alumni Association members and $15 for non-members, which includes two drink tickets and light hors d'oeuvres.

A former Bearkat football secondary and special teams coach who helped lead the team to a Southland Conference championship, Fritz was named head football coach on Dec. 18.

The "winningest" coach in the University of Central Missouri's 113-year football history, he rolled up a 97-47 record in 13 seasons as Mules head coach and is the only Central Missouri head coach to produce eight consecutive seasons of seven or more wins.

From 1993 to 1996, Fritz was head coach at Blinn College, where turned around a program that had gone 5-24-1 in its three previous seasons to produce a 39-5-1 record and two national junior college championships. For his efforts at Blinn, Fritz has been inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.

Reservations can be made online through the Alumni Association Web site, at https://ww2.shsu.edu/alum02wp/, or through the Office of Alumni Relations, at 936.294.1841. The deadline is Aug. 2.

For more information, visit http://alumni.shsu.edu.


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Biology Students To Present NSF-Funded Research

Eight students from across the country will present their work on Thursday (July 29) as part of the annual Research Experience for Undergraduates Poster Session and Conference.

The undergraduate students, who were selected to participate in the competitive 10-week program, will discuss their research from 1-3 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Art Gallery.

The REU program is a National Science Foundation-funded program conducted by biology professor William Lutterschmidt and associate professor Diane Neudorf.

Students selected for the program receive funding to conduct research at SHSU’s 250-acre Center for Biological Field Studies over the summer, working with a faculty mentor; as well as attend seminars and socials and take a number of field trips.

“Our goal is to foster an interest and enthusiasm for pursuing graduate studies in biology and ultimately careers in research,” Lutterschmidt said.

Participants in this summer’s program and their research topics include:

  • Miguel Angel Aguilar, Schreiner University, in Kerrville—“A Comparative Morphometric Analysis of the Skull Teeth of Aethomys chrysophilus and Micaelamys namaquensis"
  • Ashley Yoshiko Culberson, University of North Texas—“A Study on the Evolution of Host-Parasite Associations”
  • Nicole M. Hannum, Niagara University, in New York—“Cloning the CtrA Gene of Rhodobacter sphaeroides into a Broad Host Range Shuttle Vector, pRK415”
  • Assumpta C. Nwaneri, SHSU—“Various foraging Behavior of Cyprinella venusta
  • Daniela Ortiz, SHSU—“Preliminary Analysis of Lungfish (Osteichthyes: Sarcopterygii) Tooth Plates from Driefontein, South Africa”
  • Hayley M. Stansell, North Carolina State University—“Constructing a Species Description for a New, Malagasy Member of Genus Mengenilla (Strepsiptera: Mengenillidae), with Phylogeny of Mengenilla”
  • McKenzie M. Trainor, Humboldt State University, in California—“Nest Defense by Carolina Wrens to a Reptilian Predator”
  • Mallory B. Wilson, SHSU—“Fitness Costs to Females in a Coercive Mating System: Bacterial Susceptibility and Immunity”


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Youth Camp To Teach Children The Joys Of Writing

Approximately 20 elementary through junior high school-aged students who aspire to be the next Ernest Hemingway, Maya Angelou or J.K. Rowling will be on campus next week to participate in the Sam Houston Writing Project and the Writing Center’s Young Writers Camp.

The third annual camp is an enrichment project designed to engage students in the third through eighth grades in “creative, fun writing activities,” according to Anne Theodori, director of the Writing Center and director of youth camps.

“We do talk about correctness and writing for an audience, but our primary focus is to encourage campers to write for fun, in a way that schools often can't take the time to teach,” she said. “We conduct lessons on poetry, short stories, drama, etc., and we supplement the writing with games, arts, and crafts.”

In addition to sessions conducted by English graduate students and local teachers, children’s/young adult author Sherry Garland will speak to campers during the culmination of the camp on Friday.

A Weatherford native, Garland has written 11 novels for young adults and six picture books.

Writing mostly historical fiction, her works include “In the Shadow of the Alamo,” “Valley of the Moon: The Diary of Maria Rosalia Milagros,” “Indio” and “Song of the Buffalo Boy.” Her most recent book, “Voices of Gettsyburg,” was published in April.

For more information, contact Theodori at 936.294.1438 or anntheodori@shsu.edu.


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Dance Professor To Be Honored For Teaching

Dance professor Cindy Gratz has been recognized as Dance Teacher magazine’s 2010 Dance Teacher Award recipient for higher education.

Gratz was one of five recognized for their teaching, including two individuals from private studios and conservatories, one from kindergarten through 12th grade, and one lifetime achievement honoree, according to the magazine.

She and the four other recipients will be honored during the Dance Teacher Summit Gala in New York City on Aug. 4.

Gratz, who began dancing at the age of two by taking hula with her mother and whose work history includes riding elephants with Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus, uses her diverse background to take a broad approach to teaching dance at SHSU, considering context, historical roots and multiple influences, she said in Nancy Wozny’s article for Dance Teacher.

“They had a class that combined folk and social dances (when she came to SHSU in 1991), which was a start,” Gratz said in the article.

She has since worked to expand the program to include several world dance forms.

“You cannot learn the dance without learning the culture. So if we are learning the Cotton-Eyed Joe, a Texas form, we have to address the polka rhythms and Native American lineage of the dance,” she said.

In addition to teaching, Gratz also continues to develop her own choreography, often based in social issues; works with older adults in Prime Time, a component of her company, Texas World Dance Company; and supervises MFA students’ thesis projects.

“When I hear students coming out of a dance class saying, ‘Wow, what a great teacher,’ I smile,” Gratz said in the article. “But when they come out of a studio saying, ‘Wow, what a great class,’ I am delighted. This is what I strive to do, provide good classes with focus on the topic, enhanced by humor and memorable anecdotes. The credit should go to the subject. I am just the messenger.”


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Computer Lab Named For C&I Professor

A computer lab on the third floor of the Teacher Education Center has been named in honor of curriculum and instruction professor Bobby Ezell and his wife, Patricia.

A computer classroom lab designed and maintained by an assistant professor in the College of Education’s curriculum and instruction department now carries the name of him and his wife.

The Bobby and Patricia Ezell Computer Lab, located on the third floor of the Teacher Education Center, was dedicated to the two educators, who share a combined 82 years of experience in the field, on June 7.

The decision to name the lab after the Ezells was made after the couple decided in 2009 to create an endowment that would provide scholarships for students in teacher education.

“We made this decision because we wished to give back to education just a small part of what education has given to us; Patricia as a high school English teacher and librarian for 37 years and me as an high school English teacher, school administrator, and teacher in the College of Education for a total of 45 years,” Bobby said.

“We chose to create the teacher education endowment (named the Bobby and Patricia Ezell Teacher Education Endowment) at Sam Houston State because the university has played such a significant role in our education, in our careers, and in the lives of our children,” he said. “Patricia received her librarian certification at Sam Houston and I received my master’s here. Our daughter, Lisa, received her bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston and our daughter, Angie, received both her bachelor’s and master’s from Sam Houston.”

Daphne Johnson, chair of the curriculum and instruction department, said the decision followed a recommendation for the lab to be named out of appreciation for the donation.

“Dr. Bobby Ezell and his wife, Patricia, are loyal Bearkats giving freely of their time and resources to support and recruit for the university,” she said.

Ezell, who has taught instructional technology for the College of Education for the past six years, said his classes often meet in the lab.

“Patricia and I agree that the naming of the computer lab in the College of Education for us is the most flattering gesture we’ve received as educators, and we are deeply, deeply grateful,” he said.


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Watts Presents Keynote Lecture On Psychologist

Richard E. Watts, professor and director of the Center for Research and Doctoral Studies in Counselor Education at SHSU, delivered a keynote lecture at the North American Society for Adlerian Psychology Conference in Minneapolis, Minn., last month.

The lecture, entitled "The Innovative Adlerian," addressed the innovativeness and contemporary relevance of Adlerian counseling and psychotherapy.

"If you look at the contemporary practice of counseling and psychotherapy, the various approaches have much more common ground with Adler’s theory than any other pioneering approach,” Watts said. “In fact, Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, stated that Adler, even more than Freud, is the true father of contemporary psychotherapy.”

Many key Adlerian ideas have reappeared in contemporary therapeutic approaches, often with different names and without credit given to Adler or subsequent Adlerians. Recent studies addressing the near future of psychotherapy, however, remarkably support the Adlerian approach, according to Watts.

“The experts in the studies stated that psychotherapy will be more directive, psychoeducational, present centered, problem focused, and brief,” Watts said. “In terms of theoretical orientations, they noted that integrative, eclectic, systems, and cognitive approaches will thrive.

“Anyone familiar with the Adlerian approach will readily see strong points of resonation and, consequently, support for the contemporary relevance of Adlerian therapy,” he said. “Adlerian therapy is a psychoeducational, present- and future-oriented, brief, and integrative/eclectic approach that clearly integrates cognitive, behavioral, systemic, existential, and psychodynamic perspectives, and solidly resonates with constructivist approaches."

Watts’s PowerPoint presentation from the keynote lecture, for those interested in Adlerian psychology, is available by e-mailing him at watts@shsu.edu.


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Today@Sam Seeks Summer Calendar Info

The University Communications Office is now collecting information on campus events for its summer and fall calendar pages.

Departmental calendars or events can be sent to today@sam.edu or jenniferg@shsu.edu or faxed to 294.1834. Please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

Information collected for the Today@Sam calendar pages, at https://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/calendars/, is used by various media outlets, as well as the Communications Office for news stories and releases.

All information, including story ideas and update items for Today@Sam, should be sent a minimum of a week in advance of the event in order to make necessary contacts and write a story.

For more information, call 936.294.1836.


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Send Update Items Here

Information for the SHSU Update can be sent to the Office of Communications electronically at Today@Sam.edu 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
July 9, 2010
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu




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 Today@Sam.edu.

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