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Today @ Sam

SHSU Update For Week Of Sept. 16

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Beto Lecture To Explore Economic Troubles, Crime

Robert AgnewRobert Agnew, the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Sociology at Emory University, will present the first Beto Chair Lecture of the fall semester, “Economic Troubles and Crime: Making Sense of a Complex Relationship,” on Friday (Sept. 21) at 9:30 a.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Kerper Courtroom.

Agnew, a faculty member at Emory since 1980 and president-elect of the American Society of Criminology, is known internationally for his development of “general strain theory,” one of the leading explanations of crime and delinquency.

Building on early strain theories, general strain theory argues that a range of strains or stressors increase the likelihood of crime, including parental rejection, harsh and erratic parental discipline, child abuse, low grades, peer abuse, work at “bad” jobs, chronic unemployment, marital problems, the inability to achieve economic and status goals, criminal victimization, homelessness, and discrimination. Whether individuals respond to these strains with crime, however, depends on such things as their coping skills and resources, social support, supervision, bonds to others, beliefs, and association with other criminals.

Agnew’s latest research, and the topic of his talk, examines the relationship between economic troubles and crime.

Contrary to popular perceptions, research suggests that economic troubles do not always lead to an increase in crime. For example, the dramatic crime drop that began in the 1990s continues to this day, despite the major economic recession that began in 2008.

Crime increased a great deal during the 1960s, however, despite major improvements in the economic status of most groups, and certain very poor groups today, including many first generation immigrants in the U.S., have relatively low rates of crime.

Agnew’s talk will draw on his strain theory to help make sense of these puzzling facts and the relationship between economic troubles and crime more generally.

Agnew is the author or editor of seven books, including his latest book, Toward a Unified Criminology: Integrating Assumptions about Crime, People and Society, which was released in 2011, as well as a major textbook on delinquency, Juvenile Delinquency: Causes and Control.

At Emory University, Agnew teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in juvenile delinquency, criminology, social research, violence studies, social problems, introductory sociology, causes of crime, controlling crime, biosocial bases of crime, criminological research and teaching sociology.

He received his master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick.



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World-Class Bioethics Expert To Speak At SHSU

Alberto Garcia, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) chair in bioethics and human rights, will provide a general overview of the bioethics of neuroscience and discuss some common issues associated with the topic on Wednesday (Sept. 19).

The presentation, “Neurobioethics: The Human Person at the Center of Neuroscience, Ethics, Law and Society,” will begin at 3:30 p.m. in College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room 110.

Garcia’s presentation will highlight the ethical and philosophical implications of certain biological and medical procedures, technologies, and treatments on the human brain, as well as legal implications of these things, from personal freedoms and responsibilities to the use of these techniques as evidence in courts or to rehabilitate criminals.

“This approach will take into consideration a realistic vision of human rights since they are personal fundamental goods that should be recognized, respected and guaranteed,” Garcia said.

Human dignity, he concludes, derives from our condition of being persons and subjects of rights.
Garcia earned his doctorate in law from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, in 2005, and a master’s degree in law from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 1994.

He became the UNESCO chair in bioethics and human rights in 2009.

“Dr. Garcia is a world-class expert on these matters,” said Frank Fair, philosophy program coordinator. “The issues he will be presenting about are cutting edge concerns raised by the increasing powerful development of neuroscience knowledge and the interventions such knowledge makes possible.”

The presentation is open to all interested members of the SHSU community.

For more information, contact Fair at 936.294.1509 or psy_fkf@shsu.edu.



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Bully Expert To Speak At Student Meeting

Chad Rose, assistant professor of special education, will share his work on bully prevention with inservice and preservice teachers during the first meeting of the Sam Houston Council for Exceptional Children on Wednesday (Sept. 19).

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Garrett Teacher Education Center Room 153.

“This lecture is being held to address the teacher's role in reducing the prevalence of bullying within the educational environment,” Rose said. “We will address evidence-based strategies for working with bullies, victims and bystanders.”

Rose has been studying various aspects of bullying for six years, including as a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, specifically looking at such issues as bully perpetration and victimization; the intersection between sexual violence, harassment, bullying and victimization; and the role of bystanders in bullying.

Most recently, Rose, Houston Baptist University’s Cynthia Simpson, and a group of SHSU student researchers collected data from 23 Texas high school and junior high schools on bullying at those schools.

The group hopes to use the results to help Texas schools get into compliance with new legislation set to go into effect sometime during the 2012-2013 school year, which requires implementing policies that address perpetrators as well as victims.

Rose earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010 and both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The meeting is open to members of both the SHSU and Huntsville communities.

For more information, contact Rose at 936.294.3923 or car047@shsu.edu.



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Program Targets ‘Young, Broke’

The Student Money Management Center will show those who are “young and broke in Huntsville” how to have some no-cost fun with a seminar on Tuesday (Sept. 18), from 3:30-4:20 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 315.

Led by SMMC peer counselors Jacob Brock and Erik Johnson, the presentation will provide ways in which students can access free and inexpensive entertainment in the Huntsville area, including the best places for a low-cost meal, movie, and other fun activities.

“We will provide ways in which students can go to local events and be social without breaking their bank,” Johnson said. “We originally created this presentation to make our students aware that there are ways to have fun while being financially responsible; you do not have to have money to have fun.”

The workshop will provide students with the inside scoop on on-campus activities that are free and other Huntsville and area activities that are cheap, including which restaurants offer deals on certain nights, as well as giving students the tools to find deals on their own.

“We are very lucky to live within a university community, which has departments that provide activities for students to take part in throughout the whole year. SHSU has departments, specific colleges, and 235 student organizations that put on countless social events including: cookouts, concerts, dances, talent shows, movie nights, etc.,” Johnson said. “Students do not have to spend hundreds of dollars throughout the semester to be social. There are free resources provided by the university and its organizations.”

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



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Event To Prepare Students For Upcoming Job Fair

Career Services will help students and alumni prepare for its upcoming Career Expo and Graduate/Professional School Fair with a kickoff party during which attendees can meet with corporate representatives on Tuesday (Sept. 18).

The Career Expo and Graduate/Professional School Fair Kick-Off Party will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

"Students will be able to network with the company recruiters while enjoying cookies and lemonade, and résumé template packets and an up-to-date list of organizations and graduate schools attending the expo will be available to help students prepare for the event," said Pam Laughlin, Career Services director.

“We recommend that job seekers use this list to research the companies attending,” she said. “First impressions count and students who are knowledgeable about an organization prior to meeting that organization's recruiter at the expo will make a great first impression with that potential employer."

The Career Expo and Graduate/Professional School Fair is scheduled for Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

Among the other job fair opportunities Career Services will be presenting this fall will be the Fall Teacher Job Fair on Oct. 10.

For more information, contact Career Services at 936.294.1713 or careerservices@shsu.edu.



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Planetarium To Explore ‘Nature Of Science’

The SHSU physics department will introduce the “nature of science” through its planetarium series programs, scheduled to kick off this fall on Friday (Sept. 21).

Showings will be presented at 7 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 102.

“The Nature of Science” is a 22-minute program intended to communicate what science is and how scientists work, according to Michael Prokosch, physics department staff laboratory assistant.

“The show features interviews with university science faculty as they discuss their work,’ he said.

During the planetarium series, Prokosch will also point out which constellations and stars can be seen during this time of year. These generally include Pegasus, Cassiopeia, Perseus, and Andromeda—as well as the planet Jupiter.

Other presentations are scheduled for Nov. 16 and Dec. 14.

In addition, presentations of “The Great Space Race,” which tells the history of the U.S. and Russian space programs, will be presented as part of the series programming on Oct. 5 and Dec. 7.

The planetarium seats up to 29 visitors and includes a dome that is approximately 18 feet in diameter and more than 20 feet high in the center.

Admission is free.

For more information, contact Prokosch at 936.294.3664 or visit either the Planetarium WikiPage or the Planetarium Facebook page.



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Invitational To Bring High School Musicians To SHSU

Hundreds of high school students who are preparing for the Orchestra Division All-State Auditions will tune up at Sam Houston State University on Saturday (Sept. 22) for the 47th Annual String Invitational TMEA All-State/All-Region Audition Workshop.

The workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center and Music Building.

Sessions will be taught by SHSU School of Music faculty and members of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, including HSO members Rodica Oancea-Gonzalez, violin; Wei Jiang, viola; Jeffrey Butler, cello; and David Malone, double bass; as well as SHSU string faculty members Javier Pinell, violin; Naomi Gjevre, violin; Rene Salazar, viola; Daniel Saenz, violoncello; Deborah Dunham, double bass; and Zachary Carrettin, visiting director of orchestral studies.

“This decades-old tradition brings talented string players to SHSU from across Texas,” Pinell said.

“There will be two levels of instruction on the all-state etudes. A morning session for less experienced players who wish to focus on the etudes exclusively, and an afternoon session for more advanced players,” he said. “In addition, there will be morning sessions on the all-state orchestra audition excerpts, led by members of the Houston Symphony.”

Also during the day, there will be sessions on audition preparation and instrument care, and participants will have the opportunity to try out instruments and purchase music and other accessories from displays by the Amati Violin Shop, Sam's Strings, and Quantum Bass Center.

Some parts of the workshop are open to the public, such as the violin shops instrument displays in the GPAC Lobby, and parents are welcome to the opening session in which the undergraduate admissions office will do a short presentation about SHSU, according to Pinell.

Students interested in attending can register on-site on the day of the event, beginning at 8 a.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Lobby.

Those interested in pre-registering can do so online at http://shsu.edu/~music/specialevents/stringinvitational.pdf.

The cost is $30, but the fee will be waived for previous All-State students who bring an All-State program showing participation.

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



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Texas Review Press Authors Win Poetry Prizes

Two poets, whose books have been published by Sam Houston State University’s Texas Review Press, have recently been selected for prestigious literary awards.

William Wright, a 2005 SHSU graduate with a Master of Arts degree in English, won an unprecedented first and second place in the poetry division of the Porter Fleming Competition, which recognizes outstanding fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama by writers living in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Wright is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, including Dark Orchard and Bledsoe, published by Texas Review Press, and Night Field Anecdote. He has also authored two chapbooks, The Ghost Narratives, and Sleep Paralysis, which won the South Carolina Poetry Initiative Prize.

Jesse GravesTennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine by Jesse Graves, an assistant professor of English in East Tennessee State University’s Department of Literature and Language, has been selected as the 2012 Appalachian Writers Association book of the year in poetry.

The book is Graves’s first collection of poetry and was published by Texas Review Press last year.

Graves also recently won the Weatherford Award for poetry presented by Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association. In addition, his book has been nominated for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award from the Claremont Graduate University in California.

“One of the fundamental roles of the university press from the very beginning has been to recognize and promote learning in all its many forms and fashions, and its chosen medium was, naturally, the book,” said Texas Review Press director and SHSU Distinguished Professor of English Paul Ruffin. “Most university presses today concentrate on scholarly publications, often those that have as their central focus an appraisal of the major literary figures of the world. The books produced by Faulkner might be stacked neatly in a little pile in the corner of a classroom, but the essays and books written about Faulkner's work would dwarf that pile, perhaps fill the room and spill over into the hall.

“We occasionally publish scholarly books, but our primary role, as I see it, is to recognize and present to the world in book form the very best fiction, poetry, and familiar essays that we encounter, especially works by Texas and Southern writers, who have traditionally been overlooked by the major presses,” he said. “It is always refreshing to have our authors honored with major prizes for their contributions to literature.”

Both Wright and Graves are co-editors with SHSU’s Distinguished Professor of English Paul Ruffin of The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume III: Contemporary Appalachia. The anthology, which is being used in university classrooms in several Southern states, has four volumes, with a fifth scheduled for release in December.



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CMIT Conference Tackles Texas Gangs

Jason Sole began selling drugs on the streets of Chicago at the age of 14 and later became a leader of a notorious street gang. The son of a cocaine addict, the three-time felon spent two years in prison and a year on work release.

But Sole turned his life around through education, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice and currently pursuing his doctorate.

Now an instructor in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University in the Twin Cities, Minn., Sole works to help children learn from their mistakes and ex-offenders keep their eyes on the prize. He also provides training and case development for ex-offenders; mentors and trains juveniles and adults through 180 Degrees, Inc., and the Council for Boys and Young Men; and volunteers with sex offenders in the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Sole was the one of the keynote speakers at the Correctional Management Institute of Texas annual Gangs Conference for corrections personnel, law enforcement officers, probation officers, investigators, school administrators and security personnel.

The conference provides training and insight into gang investigative techniques, trends and statuses, influences and concerns as well as valuable networking opportunities. More than 200 people attended this year’s conference in Austin.

“The gang aspect impacts everyone across the board,” said Jeff Marton, CMIT project coordinator.

One of the issues highlighted at this year’s conference was the emerging threat of Mexican drug cartels, discussed by Jose Garza, director of homeland security for the Kansas City Southern Rail line and former intelligence officer for the FBI in McAllen.

“One of the biggest impacts and influences continues to be from the Mexican drug cartels in supplying narcotics/drugs, jeopardizing the safety, security and sanctity of Americans/Texans by the uninhibited/indiscriminate use of guns and violence as well as the trafficking of humans,” said Marton. “Their tentacles reach into American cities. An extension and resource partner of the Mexican drug cartel are U.S. gangs, together they create a large army with uniform goals.”

Participants also received the latest information on prison gangs, identifiers such as tattoos/markers/symbols, and the structures of their operations from Emil Garza of the Security Threat Group Management Office the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The conference offered breakout sessions geared toward different agencies dealing with gang issues.

“The Correctional Management Institute seeks to provide forums for our criminal justice professionals to exchange information, share best practices and learn critical information that can enable them to enhance their public safety efforts within our communities across the state,” said Doug Dretke, CMIT executive director. “Our annual Gangs Conference every year gathers committed and dedicated professionals all very focused on the complex and challenging dynamics of preventing, managing, mitigating, and disrupting the impact of security threat groups and gangs within their jurisdictions and reduce criminal behavior. “



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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
Sept. 14, 2012
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu




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Manager: Jennifer Gauntt
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Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

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