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Today @ Sam

SHSU Update For Week Of Nov. 14




English Prof To Discuss, Read From Works

Texas State University System Regents’ Professor and 2009 Texas State Poet Laureate Paul Ruffin will read from his newest books during his English Department Speaker Series lecture on Monday (Nov. 15).

"Working 'The Tight-Rope Walker:' From Poem to Essay to Fiction," will begin at 7 p.m. in Evans Building Room 105.

A professor at SHSU for 35 years, Ruffin will demonstrate how his poem “The Tight-Rope Walker” became a familiar essay, then part of a novel and then grew into a short story.

“The Tight-Rope Walker” is about “a girl I became infatuated with at a county fair in Mississippi when I was around 12—she was probably about the same age,” Ruffin said.

“She was a tight-rope walker, and I just thought she was one of the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen,” he said.

The poem was published in a magazine, one of Ruffin’s early books of poetry and later appeared in a couple of anthologies.

“I never did feel that I was doing her full justice, though, since all she got was 17 lines, maybe 150 words,” he said. “I mean, poems are studies in distillation, compression. You get all the mileage you can out of the words and images.”

He decided to expand the experience into a familiar essay, which appeared as a “Ruffin-It” column piece and later in Southern Living magazine. He also later used the material in a novel in a conversation between a man and his wife.

“After that treatment in fiction, I got really curious about the girl and the man she performed on the wire with and started letting my imagination make a few leaps. I have wondered many times over the years what happened to her, where she is now, what she might look like, whether time has been kind or vicious with her,” he said. “So, I invented this retired university professor who goes off on a quest to find the tight-rope walker of his youth. Then I wrote a story called ‘Searching for the Tight-Rope Walker.’”

Ruffin has published more than 15 books, including two novels, three collections of short stories, three books of essays and seven collections of poetry, in addition to editing or co-editing 11 other books. His most recent publications include “Ruffin-It” (Louisiana Literature Press) and “Paul Ruffin: New and Selected Poems” (Texas Christian University Press).

His upcoming publications include “Travels with George in Search of Ben Hur,” which will be printed by the University of South Carolina Press in 2011, and “Living in a Christ-Haunted Land,” which will be printed by Paris’s 13E Note Editions in late 2011 or early 2012.

Ruffin is also founding editor and editor-in-chief of The Texas Review.

A reception and a book signing will follow the reading.

For more information, contact Julie Hall, professor of English, at 936.294.1417.


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ROTC Leader To Give Grassroots Lecture

“An outstanding role model” and “an inspirational leader,” military science department chair Lt. Col. David Yebra will share the experiences that led to his career in the U.S. Army during the Grassroots speaker series on Wednesday (Nov. 17).

The lecture will begin at 5 p.m. in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room C070.

“I will address how I was presented with some incredible opportunities that resulted in my attendance at West Point, a wonderful career as an Army Officer, the sacrifices associated with taking on a challenging career, and the importance of mentorship throughout one’s life,” Yebra said. “I want to let our students know that there are many opportunities available to them.

“This engagement is not specific to (ROTC) cadets but to SHSU students with the mission of highlighting minority leaders so that our students have opportunities to meet role models and mentors who can influence their lives,” he said.

A Tuscon, Ariz., native, Yebra’s army experience has sent him all over the United States and the world, including three tours in Iraq.

He joined SHSU as the leader of the Bearkat Battalion in 2009 immediately upon returning from his third Iraqi tour.

Yebra received his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering management at West Point and his Master of Science degree from Long Island University.

“Col. Yebra is an outstanding role model, an inspirational leader and one of our own,” said Bernice Strauss, SAM Center director for academic support programs.

A meet-and-greet with refreshments will follow the discussion in the Student Advising and Mentoring Center, located in CHSS Building Suite 170.

“Grassroots: A Series of Conversations on Leadership in a Diverse Community” was created in April 2003 with the aim of promoting career aspirations and academic achievements of SHSU’s minority students.

The lecture is sponsored by the academic support programs of the Student Advising and Mentoring Center; the Elliott T. Bowers Honors Program; the International Hispanic Association; Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.; the NAACP; the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program; Student Success Initiatives Office; and Women United.

For more information, contact Strauss at 936.294.4455 or sam_bss@shsu.edu.


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Theatre To Present Famous Shakespearean Tragedy

The Sam Houston State University Department of Theatre and Dance will present one of William Shakespeare best-known works, “Hamlet,” on Wednesday through Saturday (Nov. 17-20).

Show times are at 8 p.m. each evening, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, in the University Theatre Center’s Erica Starr Theatre.

“Hamlet” is the story of young prince Hamlet’s struggle with betrayal and maddening grief.

In the tale of family secrets that ends in tragedy, Hamlet seeks revenge for the death of his father—the Danish king—by the hand of his uncle Claudius, who ascended the throne and married Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother.

Directed by SHSU theatre department chair and faculty member Penelope Hasekoester, “Hamlet” stars Garret Storms in the title role, Michael Keeney as Claudius and Addison Roush as Gertrude.

The cast also includes musical theatre majors John Ryan Delbosque, George Garcia, Mark Ivy, Chris Martin, Aaron Philips, James Smith, Jonathan Teverbaugh, Caleb White and theatre majors Marcus Cumby, Allen Hughes, Richard McKinney, Garrett Reeves, Carlos Salinas and Alex Segovia.

Designers include SHSU theatre faculty members Eric Marsh (lighting), Kristina Hanssen (costumes) and Crista Seekatz (set). Junior theatre major Seth Bales is the sound designer, and senior theatre major Cody Swiger is the stage manager.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for SHSU students and senior citizens. Group rates are available.

This show contains adult content and theatrical violence; therefore, children under the age of 3 will not be admitted.

For more information, call the University Theatre Center Box Office at 936.294.1339.


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Campus To Open For Potential Students

Prospective students and parents will have the opportunity to visit the Sam Houston State University campus to see what the university has to offer on Saturday (Nov. 20).

Saturdays @ Sam, sponsored by the SHSU Visitor Center, will begin with check-in and a parent coffee from 8-9 a.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum, followed by a 30-minute opening session at 9 a.m.

Throughout the day, students and their parents can meet with academic advisers at the university’s Student Advising and Mentoring Center, have academic sessions with colleges of potential majors, visit the Go Kats Go Center and apply online at no charge, tour residence halls and the campus, attend an organizations fair, and get information from various departments on campus.

Breakfast and lunch items will be available for purchase from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Johnson Coliseum concession stands, from 8-10 a.m. in Café Belvin and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Einstein Bros. Bagels. Lunch will also be available from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Café Belvin for $6.25, as well as at the Paw Print from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The next Saturdays @ Sam will be held on March 26.

Registration forms, online registration, directions to the university and more information is available online at http://www.shsu.edu/~visitor/saturday.html.

For more information on Saturdays @ Sam, call 936.294.1844 or e-mail visitsam@shsu.edu.


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Music To Host Wind Ensemble Concert

The SHSU Wind Ensemble will perform works by Frank Ticheli, Steven Bryant, Vincent Persichetti and Donald Grantham during a recital on Thursday (Nov. 18).

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.

“The Wind Ensemble is the premiere wind band comprised of student performers selected by audition,” said Matthew McInturf, professor of music.

In addition to student performances, faculty artist Nicole Franklin, a soprano soloist, with be featured on Ticheli's "Angels in the Arhitecture."

“(The concert will) feature works that take advantage of the wonderful acoustic environment of the concert hall,” McInturf said.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for senior citizens or students.

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


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Planetarium Series To Explore Space Program History

The SHSU physics department will take audiences on “The Great Space Race,” highlighting the stories of the United States and Russian space programs with its planetarium series program on Tuesday (Nov. 23).

The show, written by high school students in Utah, will begin at 7 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 102.

“‘The Great Space Race’ tells the story of the U.S. and Russian space programs, from Sputnik to the ISS missions following the Columbia disaster,” said Michael Prokosch, physics department staff laboratory assistant. “Guests get to hear and see more of what the Soviet space program was up to during the Apollo era and before.”

In addition, Prokosch will show participants which constellations they can expect to see in the fall skies—Pegasus, Cassiopeia, Perseus, and Andromeda—as well as Jupiter, which is visible for the next six months.

“These are the main characters in the movie ‘Clash of the Titans,’” he said. “I will also show guests how to find Comet 103P/Hartley 2. It will be visible with binoculars through the end of November. Also, now and for the next six months is the best time to look at Jupiter.”

“The Great Space Race” is a family show, with “something for everyone,” Prokosch said, adding that audiences are invited to stay after the hour-long presentation to ask questions or discuss events covered during the program.

Future presentations are scheduled for Dec. 7 and Dec. 14, both at 7 p.m.

Admission is free.

For more information, contact Prokosch at 936.294.3664 or visit the Planetarium WikiPage at http://shsu-planetarium.wikispaces.com/.


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Undergraduate Research Proposals Due Dec. 1

College of Criminal Justice undergraduate students have until Dec. 1 to submit a proposal for a research paper or poster for a chance to win a scholarship of up to $500.

The Undergraduate Research Conference, which is in its third year, was created to give criminal justice students an opportunity to show off their research and presentation skills, which are in high demand in the job market. It also allows students to test the water to further their education through graduate studies or law school, according to Holly

Miller, assistant dean for the College of Criminal Justice’s undergraduate programs.

Students will compete for six scholarships, ranging from $200 to $500. Winners will be recognized at the annual Honors Convocation Program on April 28.

To enter the competition, students are encouraged to identify a mentor among the faculty and submit a 350- to 500-word proposal on their selected topic. Proposals should be submitted by 5 p.m. on Dec. 1 to Karen Eads, in Criminal Justice Center Room A208, and by e-mail at keads@shsu.edu.

Among last year’s winners were papers on comparing police in China and the United States, on combating terrorism in a multi-cultural society, on analyzing the death penalty and on examining the three strikes law in California.

Proposals should introduce the topic of the paper and include a motivational or problem statement; the methods, procedures and approaches that will be used in research; and the results, findings or products that will be produced. All work must be original and cited correctly.

Students will be notified by Dec. 10 if their proposal is accepted, and they have until Feb. 16 to submit the final paper or poster. Winners will be notified by March 11, and presentations will be made on April 6.

All participants will create a Powerpoint presentation on their research paper and present their findings in 15-minute time blocks to family, friends and fellow students in the Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom. Posters will to be hung throughout the lobby for reading and discussion with faculty and guests.

For full contest information and rules, visit http://shsucj.blogspot.com/search/label/UConference.


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Prof Elected Publications Head For Sport Association

Sam Houston State University assistant professor Emily Roper has been elected publications/information division head for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, the international professional organization of sport and exercise psychology.

As publications/information division head, Roper will be tasked with coordinating AASP web material publication, overseeing the newsletter, and serving as a moderator between the Executive Board and the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology and the Journal of Sport Psychology in Action.

Roper teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in sport and exercise psychology, sport sociology, and health education in the SHSU’s health and kinesiology department.

She has been a member of the AASP since 1996 and has delivered 25 AASP presentations since. Her dissertation, which qualitatively examined the experiences of professional women working in academic sport psychology settings, won 2002 AASP Dissertation of the Year.

Roper received her doctorate in sport psychology with an emphasis in cultural studies from the University of Tennessee in 2001. She received her master’s degree in sport psychology at the University of Toronto in 1998 and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kent State University in 1996.

Roper’s research has focused on gender and identity in sport and exercise and how cultural studies can enhance research and applied work in sport and exercise psychology.

Her work has been published in multiple academic journals in sport psychology and gender studies, and she and her colleagues have also written book chapters in “Cultural Sport Psychology” and “Contemporary Sport Psychology.”

Founded in 1986, AASP is an international, multidisciplinary, professional organization that offers certification to qualified professionals who practice sport and exercise psychology.


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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
Nov. 12, 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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