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Today @ Sam

SHSU Update For Week Of Sept. 5




Program To Teach Residents About County Government

The Political Science Junior Fellows are partnering with the Walker County Commissioners Court to offer the second annual County U program.

“A ‘crash course’ on county government, the program outlines services the county provides that some residents may not be familiar with and gives them the opportunity to meet local officials and learn about the structure of county government,” said Daniel North, junior fellows president.

The free, five-week program will be offered on Wednesday nights beginning Sept. 22, through Oct. 20, from 6-8:15 p.m.

Weekly sessions are interactive and feature presentations by county officials, offering participants the opportunity to tour county venues and places of local importance. Each week features different speakers and locations.

“This is a great opportunity for local citizens,” said Cameron Goodman, a past participant of the program. “The tours and presentations are very informative—and fun.

“Going into the program last year, I didn’t have a real grasp of the role and responsibilities of county government, but the program provided a quick and interactive learning experience,” she said.

Last year’s speakers included County Judge Danny Pierce, District Attorney David Weeks, Sheriff Clint McRae, and many other officials from within Walker County, and past tours include the county jail, the Commissioners Court, the Gibbs-Powell Home and a ride in a fire truck.

“It’s extremely informative,” said Laura Hons, who moved to Walker County with her husband two years ago. “We enjoyed meeting all the officials and the other participants. Everything we did was wonderful, the camaraderie, the tours, learning about local government. It was great.”

The free program is limited to 20 participants. Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Political Science Junior Fellows are a Sam Houston State University student organization dedicated to public service, professional development, and education. The organization offers numerous programs throughout the year.

For more information, or to reserve a spot, contact Mike Yawn, junior fellows adviser, at 936.294.1456 or mike.yawn@shsu.edu.


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Center To Provide Money Skill Lessons

The Student Money Management Center will show new students how to better manage their money, and their debt, at its first Lunch Skills Series workshop on Wednesday (Sept. 8).

“Transitioning From Home to Being on Your Own” will be from noon to 1 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 315.

The session will cover such topics as budgeting for food, housing and utilities, what it takes to establish utilities, renters’ insurance and credit—which can both affect and be effected in the process—all of which are extremely important for incoming freshmen and transfer students who have never been on their own before, according to Jacki Brossman-Ashorn, assistant director for the Student Money Management Center.

“These issues are important to cover due to many of the students I’ve had come into the office for one-on-one counseling. So many times they are in need of the basics,” Brossman said. “This is often their first time being responsible for their living and education expenses.”

Budgeting issues are especially important when having roommates.

“In a roommate situation, sometimes you have utilities all in one person’s name and the other two or three roommates pay that roommate to pay the bill. In other instances, one roommate may be responsible for the cable bill, while another is responsible for the electricity and yet another is responsible for the gas,” she said. “There can be many combinations of payment arrangements.

“While this can be a great thing, it can also be confusing and in some instances it can cause roommate issues,” Brossman said. “So it would be important for students to keep both their own budget as well as a group roommate budget.”

During the Lunch Skills Series events, participants are encouraged to bring a lunch. All sessions are also open to faculty, staff and administrators.

For more information, contact the SMMC at 936.294.2600 or smmc@shsu.edu.


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Rice Prof To Talk Physics Of ‘Saving Space’

Wotao Yin, assistant professor in Rice University’s department of computational and applied mathematics, will kick off the SHSU Physics Colloquium series on Tuesday (Sept. 7).

His presentation, "Sparse Optimization: Basics, Recent Algorithms, and Applications," will begin at 3 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 209.

“Exploiting sparsity is a common task in computational sciences. Recently, sparsity has been skillfully utilized to improve signal acquisition in a new approach called compressive sensing and enhance signal processing in various aspects,” Yin said in his lecture abstract. “This lecture reviews the basics and recent algorithmic and application developments of sparse optimization.

“In addition, we present a novel sparse signal reconstruction method, which reconstructs sparse signals faster from a reduced number of measurements compared to the current state-of-the-art,” he said.

His work was co-authored by Yilun Wang, a former Rice graduate student, and Weihong Guo, an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University.

Yin received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Nanjing University in 2001, followed by two master’s degrees and a doctorate in 2003 and 2006, respectively.

While studying at Columbia, he researched optimization for medical imaging and computer vision for Siemens Corporate Research, in Princeton, N. J.

He has taught at Rice University since 2006.

For more information, call the physics department at 936.294.1601.


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Kansas Researcher To Discuss Evolution Of Plants

Jenny Archibald, a postdoctoral associate at the University of Kansas—Lawrence, will discuss her research on the southern African genus Zaluzianskya on Thursday (Sept. 9).

The Biological Sciences Department Seminar Series lecture, entitled “The southern African genus Zaluzianskya (Scrophulariaceae): systematics and coevolution,” will be from 4-5 p.m. in Lee Drain Building Room 214.

“Archibald's research interests include questions relating to diversification and speciation processes in plants,” said Madhu Choudhary, assistant professor of biological sciences at SHSU. “These and related questions are investigated via studies of the evolution and systematics of Zaluzianskya in South Africa and Tolpis on the Canary Islands.”

Held each Thursday, the seminar series is intended for the public and addresses current research being conducted by a guest professor in a way that the general public can understand. All lectures are open to the public.

For more information, contact Choudhary at 936.294.4850.


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Tickets On Sale For Scholarship Gala

Sam Houston State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will “put on the Ritz” during their annual scholarship gala on Sept. 18.

The “Putting on the Ritz” gala will begin at 6 p.m. in the University Theatre Center. The gala begins at 6 p.m.

The evening will include Café Society Cabaret singers, a musical review, a live and silent auction and hors d’oeuvres, and a cash bar will be available throughout the evening.

“The annual scholarship gala provides scholarships for theatre, dance, and musical theatre students,” said theatre manager Katie Stefaniak. “Much of the department’s success lies in the ability to attract and retain some of the best talent in this region by providing much needed scholarship opportunities to our students.”

A live auction will include items ranging from one week in a condominium anywhere in the world to winery tours and tastings. A silent auction will include SHSU sports packages, jewelry and Houston-area theatre tickets.

Tickets are $50 per person, $40 of which is tax deductible, and $30 for parents of SHSU theatre and dance students.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Stefaniak at 936.294.3968 or kms006@shsu.edu.


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Kansas Prof To Exhibit ‘Dynamic’ Art

“Dynamism of Form and Pathway of Desire,” an exhibit by Wichita State University assistant art professor Levente Sulyok, will be on display in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery Tuesday (Sept. 7) through Sept. 23.

The exhibit will feature works that utilize “signifiers from contemporary everyday life such as scaffoldings, outdoor advertising structures, and various tools of commerce in relationship to modern and contemporary visual and conceptual conventions,” Sulyok said in his artist statement.

“Through such investigations, I aim to highlight the relationship between art, advertisement, and an increasingly globalized consumer culture, as well as the ways in which these phenomena relate to various cultural ideologies,” he said. “By careful planning and playful execution, I aim to (re)connect philosophical thought and contemporary theory with images, structures and processes observed in the built environment.

“By pointing to similarities between traces of totalitarian mass-culture and capitalistic mass-culture, I ponder the possibility of individual agency in our cultural, social and economic climate.”

Sulyok, who was born and raised on a small farm in Hungary and moved to the U.S. in 1991, has exhibited his works across the country, including at the 1078 Gallery in Chico, Calif.; K Space Contemporary in Corpus Christi; Massachusetts College of Art in Boston; and the Sol Koffler Gallery and RISD Museum, both in Providence, R.I., among many others.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his master’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design.

He currently teaches painting and drawing at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas.

Sulyok will be on campus for artist talk and reception on Sept. 23, from 4-5 p.m. and 5-7 p.m., respectively.

The Gaddis Geeslin Gallery is in Art Building F in the SHSU Art Complex, at 1028 21st St. on the southwest corner of the SHSU campus. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Debbie Harper, art department audio visual librarian, at 936.294.1317.


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Alcohol Summit To Target Excuses Friday

Mark Sterner will deliver “A Powerful Lesson” to members of the Bearkat and Huntsville communities on Friday (Sept. 10) as the keynote speaker for the SHSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative’s fifth annual summit.

The “No Excuses” Alcohol and Drug Summit will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center. The keynote address, which will include a free lunch, will begin at noon in the LSC Ballroom.

Throughout the day, participants will have a choice of 18 different sessions that focus on such topics as the cost of alcohol and drug abuse, prescription drugs, supplements, the effect of substance use on brain function, gay and lesbian issues and substance use, alcohol laws, the university’s disciplinary process, risk management, sex and safety.

Presentations will be given by university professors, a licensed nurse, the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission, victim advocates and members of the University Police Department and Counseling Center, as well as those who have faced alcohol-related tragedies.

Registration for the summit is free, and forms can be printed from http://www.shsu.edu/adai or can be obtained at the Student Activities office, in Lowman Student Center Suite 328; the health and kinesiology office, in Health and Kinesiology Center Room 207; the Enrollment Management Office, in Estill Building Room 314; the Student Health Center; or the Recreational Sports Expansion Area, in the HKC.

Forms can be returned before the summit date to any of those locations.

All participants will receive a T-shirt upon completion of four summit sessions, various door prizes and the chance to win an iPod Touch and other prizes provided by Best Buy in Conroe.

For more information, contact Rosanne Keathley, ADAI coordinator, at 936.294.1171.


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Caldecott Medal Winner To Give Seminar

Emily Arnold McCully will be the featured illustrator for the library science department’s 10th Art Seminar for Children’s Book Illustration on Oct. 1.

The seminar will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Academic Building IV Room 205.

“The purpose of the art seminar is to enrich courses in children’s literature and to provide continuing education to area librarians and art teachers by providing an opportunity for participants to interact with and learn from a successful illustrator,” said Rosemary Chance, assistant professor of library science.

McCully will discuss her art and direct a project using watercolor paints. Afterward, she will autograph a selection of her books that will be for sale.

Born in Galesburg, Ill., and raised in Long Island, N.Y., McCully’s credits, either as an illustrator or author, include Beautiful Warrior, The Bobbin Girl, Squirrel and John Muir, Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor and The Secret Seder, among many others.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Pembroke College (now part of Brown University) and her master’s degree in art history from Columbia. In May 2002 Brown University awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in Letters.

Among her awards are the Christopher Award for Picnic, the Caldecott award for Mirette on the High Wire, and the Jane Addams Children's Book Award in the “Books for Younger Children” category for The Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington’s Slave Finds Freedom.

The cost is $25 for teachers and librarians and is complimentary for SHSU students or faculty and staff members.

The registration deadline is Sept. 15. Seating is limited to 40 and accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, or to register, contact Chance at rxc001@shsu.edu or 936.294.1151, and for more information on McCully, visit http://www.emilyarnoldmccully.com/.


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Library Workshops Provide Research Aid

While many students use the library as a place to study or simply find books, the Newton Gresham Library also hosts workshops that provide students and faculty members research tools to make their studies more productive.

Library tours that familiarize students, faculty and staff members with its resources and services are held weekly Tuesdays through Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Students in all disciplines can learn to use research databases in a number of fields, including business, education, history, foreign languages, the humanities, science, psychology, sociology and criminal justice. Workshops are offered on a variety of dates and times.

The first, “Research Databases in Humanities,” will be Sept. 14 at 9 a.m. in NGL Room 157. Database workshops, for all disciplines, provide hands-on introductions to electronic databases and full text sources for research, covering topics such as database selection criteria, construction of search strategies or statements, interpretation of search results and locating information found.

The NGL also teaches students how to utilize such research tools as Reference Universe, which searches materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases and handbooks; EndNote, a citation management program; and Web of Science, a database that provides cover-to-cover indexing in journals from a full range of disciplines, from 1999 to the present.

Faculty members can learn to use Turnitin, a plagarism detection tool, during workshops on Oct. 13 and Nov. 16, both at 2 p.m. in NGL Room 155.

“Our librarians are very knowledgeable and eager to help those wanting more instruction with Library resources and tools,” said Marsha Dickens, library associate. “These workshops are planned every semester to provide more training for students and faculty. Students, especially, are encouraged to attend to learn research techniques for writing papers.”

All workshops can also be scheduled by appointment.

For more information on library workshops, or a complete list of dates and times, visit http://library.shsu.edu/research/guides/tours.html.


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ROTC Unit Gains Recognition, Experience At Camp

SHSU ROTC cadets Roland Travis, Charlie Bransom, Jacob Hagood and Lauren Conner participated in the 2010 CMP-USMC Junior Highpower Clinic as part of their first-ever Camp Perry experience. —Photo by CMP.

Sam Houston State University’s ROTC Bearkat Battalion was recently featured in the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s online magazine The First Shot for its participation in the 2010 National Trophy Rifle Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio.

The Bearkat Marksmanship Unit, a recently-formed two-year shooting team formed at the request of cadets, was the only collegiate entry in the matches, and while they finished in the “middle of the pack,” the team gained valuable experience during the event, said Maj. Andrey Tymniak, assistant professor of Military Science.

The unit is coached by Gunnery Sgt. Michelle Boyd, a nationally recognized shooter for the Marine Reserve rifle team. Boyd is the mother of Charlie Bransom, one of the cadet shooters, and volunteered her time at Camp Perry.

“The majority of the team is new shooters and they are going to go back to Sam Houston as much better shooters than when they came here. Our scores got better every day,” Tymniak told CMP writer Steve Cooper.

“Because we have so many freshmen and sophomores I’ve got some of them for another three years. If I can keep them coming to Camp Perry and use what we’ve learned here at home station, our scores will continue to improve and we’ll be a force to be reckoned with,” he said.

Cadets also attended the CMP-USMC Junior Highpower Rifle Clinic, a three-day program that gave the cadets an opportunity to learn from fellow clinic attendees and the elite Marine Corps Rifle Team in the classroom and on the range.

“Most of these kids are under contract with the Army and shooting will be a skill that many of them will take with them, whether they’re in a combat role or not. It’s a skill that will stay with them far into the future,” Tymniak.

The mission of the Bearkat Marksmanship Unit is to train old and new cadets to shoot as experts in local, state and national competitions and at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course. LDAC is the centerpiece of the U.S. Army’s ROTC program and is also known as Warrior Forge, held each summer at Ft. Lewis, Wash.

The article can be found online at http://www.odcmp.org/0810/default.asp?page=2010NM_SAMHOUSTON.


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Fall Graduation Applications Due Friday

Students who anticipate graduating this December should file degree applications by Friday (Sept. 10) with the Registrar’s Office.

Those who fail to apply by the deadline will be assessed a $25 late fee in addition to the $25 graduation fee.

Students can apply online through SamWeb by going to “Student Records,” selecting “Application for Degree” from the drop down menu.

The Registrar’s Office is on the third floor of the Estill Building.

For more information, call 936.294.1040.


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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
Sept. 3, 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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