SHSU Update For Week Of March 7




Symposium Tips Hats To Women

The Department of Student Activities will take their “hats off to women” during its second annual SHSU Women’s Symposium on March 24.

The event, which will be held 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include speakers and breakout sessions designed to empower and motivate women, according to Student Activities assistant director Brandon Cooper.

"March is National Women's History Month, and this is really an opportune time for us to showcase the amazing women we have at SHSU, and give them a little insight into the women they are and the amazing women they can become," Cooper said. "This year's theme, ‘Hats Off to Women,’ is really our way of bowing our heads in respect to the amazing accomplishments of women."

The symposium will kick off with a breakfast at 8 a.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 320.

Educational sessions and breakout presentations will be held throughout the day on topics such as women in executive leadership positions, breaking the glass ceiling and women in government and politics.

The educational sessions will be led by SHSU vice presidents Dana Gibson and Heather Thieleman, Huntsville Memorial Hospital chief executive officer Sally Nelson and Texas State University System vice chancellor for governmental relations and educational policy Patricia Hayes.

In addition, Texas Rep. Lois Kolkhorst will discuss “motivating and empowering women to succeed in their careers” during a luncheon in LSC Room 320 hosted by SHSU first lady Nancy Gaertner.

The SHSU Women’s Symposium is free and open to all students, faculty and staff members and alumni.

"This program really brings attention to the many opportunities and career paths available for young women today," Gaertner said.

Because seating is limited, registration is required, and sessions will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration forms are available online at

Participants may attend any or all of the scheduled events.

The symposium is also sponsored by the Office of Multicultural and International Student Services, the Student Health Center, the SHSU Counseling Center, Bearkat OneCard Services and the Barnes and Noble University Bookstore.

For more information, call the Student Activities Department at 936.294.3861.


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Alumni Association To Host Pre-Tournament Reception

Bearkat fans heading to the Merrell Center in Katy for the Sam Houston State University men's basketball game on Wednesday (March 10) will have an opportunity to celebrate with fellow supporters at a pre-game reception hosted by the SHSU Alumni Association.

The reception will take place from 3-5 p.m. at the Omni Houston Hotel on Westside, located at 13210 Katy Freeway in Houston, approximately eight miles from the Merrell Center.

Light hors d'oeuvres and a beverage ticket will be provided along with a cash bar. There is no admission charge for the reception.

For more information, call the SHSU Alumni Office at 800.283.7478 or visit For game tickets in the Sam Houston State fan block, visit the SHSU ticket office Web site at


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‘Real Talk’ To Feature Fingerprint Specialist

A fingerprint specialist who has worked on such high profile cases as the BTK serial killer will discuss his work on Tuesday (March 9).

The College of Criminal Justice’s “Real Talk with CJ” series lecture, featuring Jim McNutt, will be held at 2 p.m. in CJava, located in the Criminal Justice Center.

With more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement and forensic investigation and identification, McNutt is a senior fingerprint specialist for the Southwest Regional Science Center, part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

He started his career as detention deputy with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department in Wichita, Kan., working his way up as a patrolman, detective, and forensic investigator, working many routine cases and several high profile cases, including a capital murder case and one case involving the BTK serial killer from Wichita.

Before starting with customs and border protection, McNutt taught latent print examination and crime scene investigation in Kosovo, co-developing the “Train the Trainer” program for the Kosovo National Police.

He has also taught at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary, and has lectured at the International Association for Identification Educational Conference and Sam Houston State University.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from Wichita State University and is certified as a latent print examiner and senior crime scene analyst by the International Association for Identification.

The lecture is sponsored by the Society of Forensic Science.

For more information, contact Candice Williams, College of Criminal Justice undergraduate coordinator/adviser, at 936.294.1702.


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Multilingual Reading, Movies Continue History Month

The SHSU Women’s Caucus and foreign languages department will celebrate women artists from all over the world during the Multilingual Literacy Works reading on Thursday (March 11).

The reading will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Newton Gresham Library Lobby.

Among the featured readers and pieces are Linda Byrd Cook, associate professor of English, reading selections from Zora Neale Hurston's “Their Eyes Were Watching God” and Flannery O'Connor's short story "Revelation;" and assistant professor of German James Frankki, reading a love poem in Middle High German from the 12th century.

“(Frankki’s poem translates to) You are mine, I am yours / of that you can be certain / you are locked in my heart / lost is the key / (therefore) you must always remain inside (my heart),” foreign languages department chair Debra Andrist said. “It is an anonymous poem, but most critics believe it was written by a woman.”

Spanish pool faculty member Carmen Parrón will also read Spanish poems by Gloria Fuertes and selections from Spanish writer Emilia Pardo Bazán; and Andrist will read a piece by an anonymous medieval or renaissance Spanish poet and “Hombre pequeñito” (“Little Man”) by Alfonsina Storni, a 20th century Argentine poet.

Other Women’s History Month activities for the week include showings of “Monsoon Wedding,” sponsored by the Office of Multicultural and International Student Services, on Monday (March 8), from 6-9 p.m. in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Room 140; and an American Democracy Project Burning Issues Film presentation of “Lumo,” on Tuesday (March 9) and Thursday (March 11) at 3:30 p.m., as well as Wednesday (March 10) at 5 p.m. in the Academic Building IV Olson Auditorium.

For more information, contact Andrist at 936.294.1441 or, or for information on other Women’s History Month events, contact Sujey Vega, assistant professor of sociology, at 936.294.4085 or


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Students To Help Golfers Chip Away Bad Games

Students in the PGA golf management program will help local golfers with their pitching, chipping, putting and swing on March 12 “fore” their “Free Lesson Friday” at Raven Nest Golf Club.

Lessons will be provided from 2-5 p.m.

“We are offering these lessons because one of our goals is to promote and grow the game of golf while showing our appreciation to the Huntsville community,” said Rich Ballinger, director of the PGA golf management program and golf course operations.

At least five students will be on the range at all times, giving lessons for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on whether there is a waiting line, according to Ballinger.

“We have given lessons on pitching, chipping, putting, and full swing lessons,” he said. “We are happy to help people with whatever aspect of their game they feel needs some help.

“People have been coming to us with a particular area they would like to work on,” Ballinger said.

Golfers who want assistance are not required to make appointments in order to participate.

A second “Free Lesson Friday” will be held April 2.

For more information, call the Raven Nest Golf Club at 936.438.8588 or Ballinger at 936.294.4810.


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Viking Roundtable To Dispel Norse Myths

The SHSU Viking Society will help separate history from myth during a roundtable discussion on “The Real Vikings” on Wednesday (March 10).

The panel, which will be from 3:30-5 p.m. in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Room 110, will feature James Frankki, assistant professor of German; Nickolas Pappas, SHSU history professor; and Justin Vance Tyree, president of the Society for Norse History and Culture.

The roundtable is designed to introduce SHSU's community to the real historical Vikings.

It will include a short film outlining the Vikings “in hopes to stimulate questions from the participants” afterward, according to Frankki.

Participants will also have an opportunity to interact with current members of the Society for Norse History and Culture to learn more about the organization.

The event is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact Frankki at or 936.294.1442.


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Scholars Sought For Research Exchange

Master’s and doctoral students who would like to get experience presenting their research will have the opportunity to do so during the 13th Annual Graduate Research Exchange on April 15.

Those interested in participating should submit written proposals highlighting purpose, theoretical framework, methodology and results to the College of Education’s Graduate Programs Office by March 22.

Scholars from all academic backgrounds are allowed to share their completed or in-progress work during the exchange, according to Molly Doughtie, COE graduate adviser.

It gets them ready for when they defend their dissertation,” she said.

In addition, a cash award will be given for the most outstanding papers and conference proceedings will be published.

The exchange is sponsored by the College of Education’s associate dean for graduate programs and the Office of Graduate Studies.

It will be held from 5-8 p.m. on the second floor of the Teacher Education Center.

For more information, or a proposal form, contact Doughtie at 936.294.1105 or


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Fraternity To Tee Off For United Way

SHSU’s Alpha Tau Omega fraternity will take a swing for the United Way during the 2010 Tom Hart United Way Memorial Golf Classic on March 20.

The tournament will begin at 1 p.m., with a noon check in, at the Raven Nest Golf Club.

Registration is $400 for teams or $100 for individuals, which includes green fees, cart, range balls, and a meal after the round.

Hole sponsorships can be purchased on the individual level for $100, including a sign on one of the tee boxes, and for companies for $200.

All proceeds will benefit the United Way and the many charitable organizations they allocate money to.

“ATO has been searching for an outlet in which to help the community and make a lasting impact within Huntsville, and partnering with the United Way has filled that void within our fraternity,” said David Kelley, ATO alumni relations, social services and fundraiser chair. “In doing this event we hope to raise considerable funds for the charities they allocate money to and show the Huntsville community the good things that Greeks and ATOs from Sam Houston are doing.”

There will be a silent auction as well as door prizes.

For more information, contact Kelley at or 713.591.7239.


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Jazz Festival To Reach Milestone

The SHSU Jazz Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary with guest artist Jazz Soph Wednesday and Thursday (March 10-11).

“The oldest jazz festival in the state of Texas” will kickoff on Wednesday with the SHSU Faculty Jazz Combo, featuring alto saxophonist James Riggs, at 8 p.m. at Stardust Room, on the Huntsville downtown square.

Thursday’s all-day event includes college jazz band performances, a competition among high school and junior high school jazz bands and a clinic with Soph.

The evening will culminate with an awards ceremony and concert opened by the winning high school band and featuring Soph and the SHSU Jazz Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

An internationally recognized author, master teacher and musician, Soph is a professor in the jazz studies and performance divisions of the University of North Texas’s College of Music.

He has presented masterclasses throughout Europe, the Mid and Far East, Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, Soph has toured and recorded with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and Clark Terry and is the author of several videos on drumset playing and is an active clinician for Yamaha drums.

All of the high school and daytime SHSU ensemble performances, as well as the clinic, are free.

Tickets to the evening concerts, both at the Stardust Room and in the LSC Ballroom, are $10 for general admission, $5 for SHSU students and senior citizens and free for children under the age of 6, SHSU faculty members and music students.

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


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Performance To Feature Faculty Clarinetist, Pianist

The School of Music will present a recital showcasing two faculty members on Monday (March 8).

The clarinet and piano recital, featuring clarinetist Patricia Card and pianist Ilonka Rus, will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.

The program will include “Variaciones” by Mexican composer Leonardo Velzaquez, “Premiere Rhapsodie” by French composer Claude Debussy and “Sonata in A minor” by German composer Franz Schubert.

“The Velzaquez is a contemporary work that employs the traditional compositional structure of theme and variations,” Card said. “The Debussy is one of the most famous and well known works for clarinet and piano. Originally composed as a contest piece for the Paris Conservatory, the ‘Premiere Rhapsody’ is a wonderful mix of lyrical melodies and fast technique over lush harmonies.

For the final selection, Rus and Card will be joined by guest artist H.P. Scott Card on the “Fantasy Trio” for clarinet, cello and piano by American composer Robert Muczynski.

“The Muczynski is quickly becoming a standard in the clarinet, cello and piano repertoire,” Card said. “Each of the four movements explores different characters and emotions, creating a well-rounded and appealing composition.”
The recital is free and open to the public.

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


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Students Awarded For Literacy Week Participation

Learning about financial literacy has literally paid off for thee students and organizations.

The Student Money Management Center has awarded three scholarships and three prizes to groups for their participation in Financial Literacy Week.

Winning a $650 scholarship were Stacey Cavazos, a junior criminal justice major; Mayra Lopez, a senior interdisciplinary studies major; and Nicole Keener, a junior interdisciplinary agriculture-animal science major.

Recipients were drawn from those who attended four literacy week events, earning a stamp on a card that was submitted for a drawing, according to Jacki Brossman-Ashorn, assistant director for the Bearkat OneCard Services Office and the Student Money Management Center.

The drawing was held on Feb. 26 after the final literacy week event.

In addition, student organizations recognized for their participation, with the most members in attendance for the week, included the Agribusiness Club, first place, $1,000 winner; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, second place, $750 winner; and Block and Bridle Animal Science Club, third place, $500 winner.

Scholarships were sponsored by HigherOne, which donated one full scholarship; as well as Debt Free U, Woodforest National Bank, Smart Financial Credit Union, First National Bank of Texas, Texas Dow Employee Credit Union and the SHSU Student Money Management Center.


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Physics Prof’s Research Featured In ‘Sky & Telescope’

An article by associate professor of physics Renee James is featured in the April “Sky & Telescope,” a popular astronomy magazine.

“The Universal Jet Set” explores “jets,” narrow beams of matter ejected out of the poles of a huge variety of astronomical objects, including everything from “large forming planets that are a few times the size of Jupiter all the way up to super-massive black holes residing in the cores of galaxies that are capable of producing these jets,” she said.

Jets are found in stars that are just forming and in stars that are dying.

“A complicated interaction between matter falling into a gravitating object and the magnetic fields seems to cause these jets to shoot out, sometimes at near light speeds,” she said. “Without this bizarre blow-torch-like ability to dump energy out the poles, things like the sun (and, by extension, the solar system) could never form, so we owe our existence in part to jet formation.”

Though not an “astrophysicist by training,” James said she got the idea for the article while walking through posters at a American Astronomical Society meeting.

“Jet astrophysics is one of the few areas where astronomers from all sorts of backgrounds can come together and know what the others are talking about,” she said. “Their observational and theoretical skills really complement each other, but even with all the observations and computations and simulations, there still is a huge question about how exactly these things form.

“And as far as the article was concerned, it doesn't hurt that there are oodles of great photos of these things out in space.”

“Sky & Telescope” can be purchased at places such as Hastings.


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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
March 5, 2010
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Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
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