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Today @ Sam

SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 21

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Lecture To Focus On ‘Leading,’ ‘Following’ In Life

SHSU dance professor Cindy Gratz will discuss how “John Michael Montgomery Was Right: Life’s a Dance You Learn as You Go…Sometimes You Lead and Sometimes You Follow” on Monday (Oct. 22).

The Honors 3332 Journeys Seminar presentation will begin at 4 p.m. in Smith-Hutson Building Room 186.

Gratz, who has been dancing since the age of 2 when she began hula training with her mother (who is also a dance professor), said her lecture will focus on the inclusiveness of dance.

“I am certain that everyone has a dance inside, and I love to bring that out,” she said. “My dance company, ‘The Prime Time Dancers,’ consists of men and women from 55 to 95 years old. We go to area nursing homes twice a year to get everyone tapping, clapping, and laughing if we can.”

In her effort to bring out that dance inside the Journeys students, Gratz said her presentation will also include a “dancing portion” at the end, “using scary Halloween music for the students’ dancing pleasure.”

Gratz earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her doctorate from New York University.

Her “journey” to SHSU has included riding elephants with Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus and touring the country as a solo concert modern dance artist.

In addition to founding The Primetime Dancers, she has established two other dance companies: the multi-cultural dance The Polynesian Dance Review of Huntsville, Texas, and socially relevant concert modern dance The Gratz Dance Ensemble.

In 2010, Gratz was selected by Dance Teacher Magazine to receive the “Dance Teacher of the Year in Higher Education” award.

Her lecture, sponsored by the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College, is part of a new class designed to show students what characteristics lead to success.

It is open to the public.

For more information, contact instructor Patrick Lewis at 936.294.3397.



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Legislators Slated For ‘Hot Seat’ On Thursday

Texas State Reps. John Otto, R-Dayton, and Charles Schwertner, R-Gerogetown, will discuss the upcoming legislative session and answer questions at “The Hot Seat in Huntsville” on Thursday (Oct. 25).

Presented by The Texas Tribune and SHSU’s department of mass communication, the public discussion will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

Evan Smith, editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune, will lead the conversation with the legislators for approximately 30 minutes before they take questions from the audience.

Otto, who was first elected in 2005, represents District 18, which includes Liberty, Polk, and part of Montgomery Counties in the Texas House of Representatives.

Schwertner is the Republican candidate for Texas Senate District 5, a seat currently held by retiring Sen. Steve Ogden. Schwertner is a managing partner and practicing physician at Georgetown Orthopedics, PLLC, which provides annual care for 20,000 patients.

The Texas Tribune is presenting a series of conversations with legislators across the state prior to the upcoming session. The series is sponsored by AT&T, BP, Christus Health, and Raise Your Hand Texas and is underwritten by the KDK Harmen Foundation.

A light lunch will be provided for those who have made reservations.

For more information about the event, or to make reservations, contact the Texas Tribune at 512.716.8641, rsvp@texastribune.org or texastribune.org/events.



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Jazzy Performance To Highlight Modern Genre Elements

Jazz concert logoMusic professor Aric Schneller will direct SHSU’s premier Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Lab Band in a concert that will combine familiar classics with a new spin, as well as modern, cutting-edge jazz charts.

Joining the ensembles—on Thursday (Oct. 25) at 7:30 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Payne Concert Hall—will be guest artist Drew Zaremba, a composer, arranger, saxophonist, and former member of the Grammy-nominated University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band.

“I think audiences will get a pretty well-rounded jazz experience, especially with our lab band and our jazz ensemble,” Schneller said. “We’re playing some pretty classic tunes but modern, with fresh sounds.”

Schneller started his research for the concert this summer, taking note of music he heard that he thought would be a good fit either for a specific musician in the band or for the band in general.

“I try to choose music that will benefit the band in terms of jazz history and the different styles—rock fusion, swing, jazz, Latin jazz,” Schneller said. “But I also look for what’s modern today, new arrangements of older tunes that people know.

“I also want the music to challenge them,” Schneller continued. “I run the band like a professional band to teach them all the skills they need to be professionals, so that they can meld into any situation—recording, performing, teaching, promoting themselves, writing and arranging music.”

Unlike the big band sound of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw of the 40s, which was composed and arranged more for dancing, modern jazz today is considered more “art music,” according to Schneller.

“You sit down to listen to it, but you aren’t dancing, although the rhythms are such that you can tap your foot and you’re moving your body when you’re sitting, if it’s done right,” he said.

While the rhythms are still there, today’s modern jazz differentiates itself in other ways, too.
“The harmonies are a little more inventive; however, it’s definitely bluesy, but with fast tempos and meter shifts,” said Schneller.

The evening’s program also has pieces that reveal influences from other genres.

“One tune, ‘The Big Taste,’ is really fast, up-tempo and part of it sounds like a game show theme, like the Price is Right,” said Schneller. “Another piece, ‘Tao of Heavy D’ sounds like a bluesy hip-hop tune, not rap but more of a funky hi-hop beat.”

As a teacher and a musician, passing along that diversity of music to his students is important to Schneller.
“Miles Davis really pioneered moving forward with jazz, always changing, because jazz is improvisation—having a form but saying what you want to say,” he said.

Tickets are $15 adults, $12 seniors and $5 for SHSU students.

For more information, to make reservations or to purchase tickets, call the GPAC Box Office at 936.294.2339 or visit shsu.edu/cofamc/boxoffice.



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Emory Prof To Examine ‘Art Of Teaching’

SHSU teachers can become among “the broad range of learners” while enhancing their knowledge on the “Art of Teaching” on Oct. 29, when the Professional and Academic Center for Excellence will host its second workshop in a series on the subject.

Patrick Allitt, the Cahoon Family Professor of American History at Emory University, will share his thoughts on “The Great Courses: Best Practices from a Master Educator” from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the PACE Conference Room, in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Suite C002.

His presentation will examine ways to be as effective and successful a teacher as possible, both for the education of students, as well as personal and professional growth.

Allitt’s student ratings have shown him to be an excellent lecturer; however, not everyone agrees with his take on mastering the “art form,” according to Marsha Harman, PACE director.

The session, co-sponsored by the foreign languages department, will include a discussion period. It is open to faculty, staff and students.

Allitt has been teaching at Emory University since 1988 and teaches courses on American intellectual, environmental, and religious history; Victorian Britain; and on the “Great Books.”

He is the author of six books and presents seven lecture series with "The Great Courses." His current writing project is a history of the major environmental debates in the United States since World War II.

Allitt earned his bachelor’s degree from Oxford University and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. He also served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Divinity School for three years and at Princeton University.

The final “Art of Teaching” series workshop will be on Nov. 26.

Those who wish to participate in his presentation should register by noon on Wednesday (Oct. 24).

Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, or to register, contact PACE at pace@shsu.edu or 936.294.2688.



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Open House To Educate Students On Victim Studies Program

Representatives from the College of Criminal Justice’s victim studies program will highlight the degree program, internships, the Crime Victims’ Institute, and a student organization in the field during an open house on Thursday (Oct. 25).

Participation in the Crime Victim Services Alliance is one of the many ways students can get involved and enhance their education through the College of Criminal Justice's victim studies program. —Submitted photo

“The victim studies degree is designed to prepare students for careers as professionals in victim services delivery or victim advocacy,” said Leana Bouffard, director of the Crime Victims’ Institute and program adviser. “Graduates will have a broad range of knowledge about victimology, victim services delivery, agency operations, interagency collaboration, direct victim services, traumatology, and criminal justice procedures.”

The open house will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Friel Room, where students can meet with faculty, students and staff in the program and enjoy pizza and beverages.

Sam Houston State University’s bachelor’s degree in victim studies is one of the few of its kind in the country and offers a multidisciplinary degree consisting of courses from criminal justice, political science, business and psychology.

Graduates can serve in crime-specific programs for domestic violence shelters, anti-drunk driving campaigns and agencies that protect children, the elderly, immigrants and those who are physically or mentally abused.

In the future, the college is expected to introduce a master’s program to develop administrative leaders in these professions.

The college offers about 50 internship opportunities with federal, state and local agencies.

Faculty and student research is on the cutting edge of emerging issues through the Crime Victims’ Institute, an agency created by the Texas Legislature to improve services to victims, provide research on key issues, offer a voice for victims, and recommend policies to state and local governments. The institute has produced studies on the Choking Game, gangs, intimate partner violence, immigrants, elder abuse, hate crimes and the availability of victims services in the state, to name a few.

Finally, students can meet members of the Crime Victim Services Alliance, an organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the rights of victims by featuring speakers from the field and actively supporting victim rights through clothing drives, community service and office visits.

“The Crime Victim Services Alliance is a wonderful opportunity for students to get involved in victim advocacy while at SHSU,” said Molly Smith, who helped revive the organization. “CVSA promotes victim services as both a movement and a profession. We also work closely with SAAFE House throughout the year by collecting toiletry donations and volunteering at their resale shop.”



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‘Octuba’ Concert To Showcase International Pieces

SHSU musicians will create international affairs in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center as two groups will perform works celebrating “Octubafest” and Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” beginning Tuesday (Oct. 23).

The Octubafest recital, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. that day in the GPAC Recital Hall, will include European- and American-composed selections performed by faculty musicians.

Accompanied by staff pianist Kaju Lee, euphonium professor Henry Howey and tuba professor Robert Daniel will come together to present a “brass” rendition, arranged by Howey, of a Mozart duo originally written for the bassoon and cello.

The concert will also include performances by Howey of pieces by French composer J. Ed. Barat and Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, as well as performances by Daniel of a work for tuba and piano by American composer Halsey Stevens, as well as a “unique and different piece for tuba” titled “Aboriginal Voices” by Neal Corwell.

Admission is free.

For more information, call the School of Music at 936.294.1360, and for ticket information, call the GPAC Box Office at 936.294.2339 or visit shsu.edu/cofamc/boxoffice.



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Chorale To Illuminate Sacred Music On Oct. 27


The university’s premiere choral ensemble, the SHSU Chorale, is set to perform an illuminating program of early 18th century sacred music and contemporary compositions, culminating with a few familiar modern surprises, on Saturday (Oct. 27) at 7:30 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.

Director of choral studies James Franklin will lead the Chorale, a 40-member mixed group of music and non-music majors, in “a variety of music” that exposes students to “major milestones in the repertoire,” he said.

“Much of what we listen to, study and perform from the 1400s through the 19th century was written for the church or written out of that tradition,” he said.

Franklin selected Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” as the central work for the upcoming concert and chose pieces that built upon its theme.

“‘Gloria’ is really a song of praise; it’s part of regular liturgical worship in the Catholic Church,” Franklin said.

The piece is broken down into 11 movements, beginning with the announcement from the angels, “Glory to God on the Highest and peace to men of goodwill.”

“The interesting thing is that most composers set that all together as one thought, but Vivaldi breaks it up,” Franklin said. “It’s all really the same announcement from these angels but Vivaldi chooses, for one half of the text, to focus on the things above and the other, on the things below, on Earth.

“It starts out very fast and upbeat, but then Vivaldi slows it down for the second movement, sets it in a minor key, with these really dark tones and clashing,” he said. “The second movement is so striking, it’s reason enough to come to the concert.”

The Chorale will also perform three psalms, or prayers, written by Latvian composer Sisask, Swedish composer Hansson, and Russian composer Rachmaninoff.

The set opens with “Oremus,” an invitation to pray; then transitions to a prayer for illumination, the ability to move through a difficult time (“Lighten mine eyes”); and closes with “Blazén muzh,” which says there are blessings for those who persevere under terrible conditions.

“What’s interesting about these pieces is that, written in different times and places, they talk about being persecuted and depressed, and ask for the same thing, ‘Grant me this light, God,’” Franklin said.

Franklin will close the concert with lighter fare, a surprise.

“I’ve programmed a set of love songs, something that’s a little more audience friendly,” said Franklin. “They won’t be listed in the program.”

The week following the concert, the Chorale will tour to five southeast-Houston area high schools to promote the SHSU School of Music and the group. They will also perform a public concert at Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, next to the Rice campus, on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 adults, $12 seniors and $5 for SHSU students.

To make reservations or purchase tickets, call the GPAC Box Office at 936.294.2339 or visit shsu.edu/cofamc/boxoffice.



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Fair To Provide Central Location For ‘Exploring Majors’

SHSU’s Career Services will aid students in need of help making a major college decision—selecting a field of study—on Wednesday (Oct. 24).

The Exploring Majors Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

The event will allow students seeking a major to speak to representatives from more than 30 academic departments, as well as academic advising staff about choices of majors, in one central location and in a casual atmosphere, according to Pam Laughlin, director of Career Services.

“The event was designed with students still undecided about choosing a major in mind, but is open to all students who may still be uncertain about their current choice of a major, who are considering choosing a minor, or who wish to learn more about career opportunities available to them in their areas of interest,” Laughlin said.

“Students are encouraged to drop by the LSC Ballroom on a come-and-go basis to gather information, have their questions answered, and to register for some great door prizes to be awarded after the fair,” she said.

The Honors College, McNair Scholars Program and Project CONNECT will be available to talk about their programs as well.

The event is cosponsored by the Student Success Initiatives Office.

For more information, contact Career Services at 936.294.1713.



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Artists Explore Communication For Independent Exhibit

Senior Melly Rae's ceremanic work, seen above, is the cornerstone for the "Between" exhibition, which inspired her peers Jamie Kinosian and Agnes Stelmach to create pieces for the exhibit. —Submitted photo

Three SHSU students will examine what’s “Between” the variables of speech in an independent exhibit beginning Monday (Oct. 22) in the Lowman Student Center Art Gallery.

“Between,” a series of paintings, drawings and installations, will be on display from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. through Oct. 29.

A reception for Melly Rae, Jamie Kinosian and Agnes Stelmach, all three senior studio art majors, will be on Tuesday (Oct. 23), at 6 p.m. in the gallery.

“Between” is the result of Kinosian and Stelmach being inspired by an “intriguing piece about communication” created by Rae, Kinosian said.

“We started off by observing Melly's ceramic piece about communication that involved horns and a red string, and we made our work based on the same concept and used some of the imagery,” she said.

The exhibit, then, is based on the premise that communication is what connects individuals together.

“Each piece observes communication through similar imagery, such as the deer horns and red lines,” Kinosian said. “It was fairly open ended so each piece is based on different situations that were entirely up to each artist.”

Each artist’s work varies in the media used: As an installation artist, Rae’s work involves ceramic pieces and found objects; Kinosian is a drawing artist who uses a lot of ink for the work in the show; and Stelmach is a painter whose show pieces were created using oil paints.

For more information on “Between,” contact Kinosian at ladykihanna@gmail.com.



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CMIT Institutes Webinars Into Field Training

How webinar participants viewed Christopher Lowenkamp's presentation (above) and the panel discussion (below) during CMIT's first live broadcast of a field training.

The Correctional Management Institute of Texas hosted its first live broadcast on the Internet for adult probation officers to discuss ways to implement research-based practices in the field.

Criminal justice agency personnel from 95 sites across Texas participated in the webinar, “Finding the Point with Evidence-Based Practices.”

The live, interactive program featured Christopher Lowenkamp, former director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research and associate director of the Corrections Institute at the University of Cincinnati, as well as a panel of officials from community supervision and corrections, probation supervisors, and judges from across the state.

“It’s a cost effective way to reach a lot of different people in the state of Texas,” said Craig Corder, a CMIT project coordinator. “It‘s assisting the community supervisors and adult probation officers in the state and helping them to implement evidence-based practices in their departments.”

The program also gave participants the opportunity to send in questions for the expert or panel during the live, two-and-a-half hour presentation. All that was needed to participate was access to a computer and the Internet.

Lowenkamp, the author of several risk assessment instruments and cognitive behavioral curricula for offenders, said evidence-based practices are a process rather than a particular treatment or procedure.

He urged participants to become the innovators or to follow the early adopters of plans in their offices to help implement evidence-based practice and then training others how to do it.

The ideas presented were discussed by a panel of Texas officials in various aspects of the criminal justice process, including Leighton Iles, director of Tarrant Community Supervision and Correction Department; Judge Rose G. Ryan, of the 206th Judicial District Court of Hildalgo County; Mike Wolfe, director of Taylor County CSCD; Retired Judge John Creuzot, of Dallas County DIVERT Court; and Caroline Rickaway, director of Brazoria County CSCD. The program was moderated by Carey Welebob, director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s community justice assistance division.

The panelists talked about the challenges of implementing evidence-based practices and ways that different jurisdictions overcame those obstacles.

The first professional webinar offered by CMIT and was hosted in collaboration with DELTA, which provides SHSU’s online courses, and the SHSU mass communication department.



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Submit Update Items Here

In order to assist members of the Sam Houston State University community in publicizing events, the SHSU Communications Office (Today@Sam) is now requesting that students, faculty and staff submit information about events, accomplishments or ideas for feature stories online.

Submission criteria and guidelines, including deadlines, have now been placed online, at https://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/guidelines.html. This information is also accessible through the “Submissions” link in the right-hand navigation on Today@Sam.

From there, those submitting ideas can access forms that will allow them to provide detailed information about their idea, as well as attach event calendars, vitas/resumes or photos, depending on the type of submission.

Ideas submitted to the SHSU Communications Office are directly utilized in several ways: as news stories, “slider” or SHSU home page stories, hometown releases, and on the Today@Sam calendar.

If your submission qualifies for distribution, we will either contact you for more detailed information, or we will edit the information using SHSU/journalistic style and forward the final release to the appropriate media.

All information is verified before release, so please provide complete, accurate and timely information. Please type all responses in appropriate upper and lower cases.

For more information, contact the Communications Office at 936.294.1836 or today@sam.edu.



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SHSU Media Contacts: Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Oct. 19, 2012
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu




This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office
Associate Director: Julia May
Manager: 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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