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Today @ Sam

SHSU Update For Week Of Aug. 4

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ROTC Commissions Two In Summer Ceremony

McCormick, Simmons, Santos, and Burling in full regalia
Military Science department chair Lt. Col. Robert McCormick (left) and senior military science instructor Master Sgt. Jonathan Simmons (far right) congratulated the Bearkat Battalion's newest commissioned officers Jeremy Santos and Colby Burling, who received their ranks as second lieutenant on July 26. —Photo by Brian Blalock

Two Sam Houston State University seniors who have displayed the U.S. Army’s core values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage took the Army oath of office and were commissioned as second lieutenants on July 26 in Austin Hall.

Colby Burling and Jeremy Santos were commissioned during the Bearkat Battalion’s summer ceremony and will continue on to careers in active and reserve duty, respectively.

Burling, a Waller native, joined SHSU’s ROTC program in 2010 after serving on active duty for three years in Fort Lewis, Wash., during which time he served two yearlong deployments to Afghanistan.

While on active duty, he was selected for the “Green to Gold” program and chose to attend SHSU.

During his participation in the Bearkat Battalion, Burling performed in various positions, including as platoon sergeant, command sergeant major and sergeant major. He recently completed the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, where he was recognized as a distinguished LDAC graduate and received the Warrior Ethos Award.

Burling will graduate as a distinguished military graduate on Aug. 3 with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology and minor in military science, with Suma Cum Laude honors.

He received an active duty commission and will receive his duty and branch assignments in September.

Santos, a Houston native, joined the ROTC program in the fall 2009 as a recipient of a four-year Army ROTC scholarship.

During his participation in the Bearkat Battalion, Santos served in numerous leadership positions, including the headquarters sergeant major and the battalion logistics officer. He also was a member of the Ranger Company for two years and a four-year member of the color guard, serving as the color guard officer in charge for two years and as the non-commissioned officer in charge for two years.

Santos will graduate on Aug. 3 with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice and a minor in military science.

He received a reserve duty commission as a quartermaster officer and will serve his first duty assignment with the 103rd Quartermaster Company in Houston.


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Association To Charter Bus, Host Party For A&M Game

Don’t want to fight the traffic or pay for parking at Kyle Field in College Station?

The Sam Houston State University Alumni Association will sponsor a charter bus to the SHSU vs. Texas A&M football game in College Station on Sept. 7.

The bus will depart the Chemistry and Forensic Science Building parking lot, on the corner of Sam Houston Avenue and Bowers Drive, at 2 p.m. and return immediately following the game.

In addition, the Alumni Association will host a pre-game party from 3-5 p.m. in the Texas A&M Student Recreation Center, at 797 Olsen Blvd., directly across the street from Kyle Field.

The cost the charter bus is $30 per person, which does not include game tickets, and admission for the pre-game reception is $10 per person in advance, or $15 for non-members and at the door. The cost of the pre-game reception includes a barbecue buffet and a drink ticket.

“The bus drops off guests quite close to the field and Student Rec. Center, so it’s quite convenient,” said Casey Hughes, event coordinator for Alumni Relations.

Charter bus seating is limited, and reservations for both the charter bus and the pre-game reception are requested by Sept. 5.

Game tickets can be purchased by contacting the SHSU Athletic Ticket Office at 936.294.1729 or online at gobearkats.com.

For more information, or to make a reservation, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 936.294.1841 or visit alumni.shsu.edu.


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Club To Host Happy Hour With Football Coach

Area Sam Houston State University alumni and friends will have the opportunity to mingle on campus and celebrate the kickoff of football season during the monthly Walker County Alumni club meeting on Monday (Aug. 5).

The Walker County Area Alumni and Friends Happy Hour will be from 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Old Main Market.

Head football coach Willie Fritz will talk about the upcoming football season as the event’s featured speaker and attendees can grab a snack at one of Old Main Market’s five independent dining stations or a drink at the beer and wine cash bar.

"This is a great opportunity to network and enjoy drinks with fellow Bearkats, learn about the Walker County Area Alumni and Friends Club and, for some, experience Old Main Market for the first time," said Charlie Vienne, director for Alumni Relations.

“The meeting was moved to Old Main Market on the SHSU campus this month to accommodate what we anticipate to be a large crowd to hear Coach Fritz speak,” Vienne said. “In addition, it is a great opportunity for the community to visit with many university administrators and faculty who will attend as well.”

Walker County area club president Kelly Ritch will also discuss business topics for the group, which meets on the first Monday of each month.

The cost is $10 per person, which includes food, and can be paid at the door.

Old Main Market is located at 1001 16th St.

For more information on the Walker County Area Alumni Club and activities, contact Ritch at walkercountyaaf@gmail.com or Amy Pfeil, assistant director for alumni clubs and constituent programs, at apfeil@shsu.edu.


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Museum To Celebrate Young Artists With Exhibit

Art and history routinely collide at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, as the site of Houston family artifacts, state mementos, educational demonstrations, and exhibits.

This summer, the museum will help art and history collide for 15 local youth through their first hands-on, educational day camp, and then allow those youth to become a part of the museum’s history by creating art that will be on display in the Walker Education Center Atrium.

The culmination of the art created during the “Where Art and History Collide” camp will be put on display Aug. 16-18 in the Walker Education Center Atrium, which will kick off with a reception on Friday, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The “Where Art and History Collide” camp was created this year for youth ages 6 through 12 as a way to put the museum’s art in the spotlight.

“Often, we speak about history but actually, we’ve got some fantastic pieces of fine art at the museum, as well,” said Danielle Brissette, museum historical interpreter who is leading the camp with David Barker, another of the museum’s historical interpreters.

“We are hosting this camp partially as an experiment. We’re always trying to discover what we can do to bring in the community to our museum. We want to host events that are interesting to the people of Huntsville, and that benefit them in some way,” she said.

“As part of Art and History Collide, we plan on emphasizing to the kids that they are artists; that they can always be artists. Art at a museum doesn’t have to be exclusive, and we want our young artists to feel like they are adding to the museum in some way. We also feel that it is important that they understand that inspiration for art can come from anything at all.”

Looking to the past for inspiration, projects will utilize the museum’s collections and features to inspire the young “campers’” projects, such as Temple Houston’s pottery collection in learning about building pots; the museum’s main rotunda in mosaic making; and Gen. Sam Houston’s silhouette portrait to make their own silhouettes.

“We plan to have fun and get our hands dirty as we explore different artistic techniques,” Brissette said. “We plan to create mosaics, craft and fire pottery, explore drawing and perspective, work with weaving and textiles, make homemade toys, and more.”

The exhibit and its reception, which will highlight these projects, are open to the public.

The Walker Education Center Atrium is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Brissette at 936.294.4895 or 936.294.3936.


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County Correctional Managers Corral Leadership Skills

County correctional managers from probation, courts, prisons, jails and community-based facilities gathered at the Mayan Dude Ranch in Bandera to build leadership skills to address common issues they face in the criminal justice system.

Correctional officer on a horse
County correctional leaders got the full ranch experience during the annual leadership training at CMIT, held in Bandera. —Submitted photo

The Criminal Justice Leadership Program, which is sponsored by the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, invites mid- to upper-level correctional managers to reflect on ways to enhance their skills and strengthen their county criminal justice systems.

“The Criminal Justice Leadership Program gives you access to nearly 100 years of leadership experience in criminal justice,” said Jason Schwarz, a CMIT staff associate. “The Mayan Ranch provides participants with a relaxed, family-like setting that makes for a training they will not soon forget.”

This year’s program included 27 participants from 13 counties across Texas instructed by leaders from the Texas Association of Counties, Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Windham School District, Probation Offices, CMIT and Sam Houston State University.

One of the key sessions was how to develop harmony in the workplace and channel organizational energy.

“A key challenge today is balancing the old and the new ways, the tight and the loose styles, the closed and the open methods, the participative and the hierarchical business structure and in creating an environment that encourages and facilitates the fullest appropriate expression of human energy,” said Mark Warren, of the Texas Association of Counties.

Among the other presentations were: a discussion on understanding and managing people with Carmella Jones, retired Armstrong County sheriff; “How to eat an elephant—a primer on time management,” by Craig Corder of CMIT; “Cultural diversity in the workplace,” by Mario Cotton, of the Windham School District; “Elementary leadership,” by Diana Kukua, of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; “Ethical legacy,” with Barry Gilbert, of the Randall County Juvenile Probation Department; and “Legacy leadership,” by SHSU criminal justice professor Randy Garner.

In addition to classes, participants got to experience the cowboy way of life at the ranch, including traditional foods, music, dance, games and activities.


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Forensics Training Focuses On Prison Crimes

To aid in solving crimes that occur in Texas prisons, investigators for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice recently attended crime scene investigation training on biological evidence, photography, fingerprinting and explosives at Sam Houston State University.

investigator shining blue light on evidence
An investigator for the Office of Inspector General tests clothes for biological materials during the CMIT training. —Submitted photo

Ten investigators from the Office of Inspector General at TDCJ participated in the two-week training offered by the National Forensic Science Technology Center, which provides specialized forensic science training through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

The training, hosted by the Correctional Management Institute of Texas, assists investigators with examining sexual assault and aggravated assault cases, as well as processing the scene and collecting evidence from crimes that occur within TDCJ facilities.

“We have crimes that occur in prisons, and it gives us the ability to perform newer techniques and investigate leads that we would otherwise not have,” said Capt. Nathan Ward, who oversees OIG training. “Say we find an offender who is unresponsive, but who is not bleeding. We can take his clothes and determine if blood is present. Using chemicals and other materials, we can determine if a crime has occurred or if there is a suspect. The fingerprinting will help us identify offenders or employees who smuggle in contraband. It was very, very relevant to what we do.”

The investigators were given hands-on training on the collection and preliminary analysis of biological materials, including teaching investigators how to use specific chemicals to detect the presence of blood or semen and how to collect evidence for DNA analysis at a crime lab.

Investigators also received basic and intermediate CSI classes on forensic photography, fingerprinting, casting and evidence collection. They also were given a primer on improvised explosive devices so they could determine the type of bomb, the circuitry used, and the component involved during an investigation.

In addition to the June training, SHSU recently hosted a six-week basic investigator’s course for newly hired personnel. The course teaches the basic skills needed to serve in the Office of the Inspector General, with an emphasis on the specialized caseloads the agency handles.

“Operating safe and secure facilities is at the very core of any prison system,” said Doug Dretke, CMIT executive director. “The Office of Inspector General plays a significant role within that focus and certainly it was an honor for the Correctional Management Institute of Texas to facilitate this critical training program with the NFSTC, The Department of Forensics, CJC and OIG.”


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Today@Sam Seeks Fall Calendar Info

The university Communications Office is now collecting information on campus events for its fall calendar pages.

Departmental calendars or events can be sent to today@sam.edu or jenniferg@shsu.edu or faxed to 294.1834. Please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

Information collected for the Today@Sam calendar pages, at https://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/calendars/, is used by various media outlets, as well as the Communications Office for news stories and releases.

All information, including story ideas and update items for Today@Sam, should be sent a minimum of a week in advance of the event in order to make necessary contacts and write a story.

To see a full list of the Today@Sam submission guidelines, or to access submission forms for news or feature stories, calendar submissions, or hometown releases, visit https://www.shsu.edu/~pin_www/guidelines.html.

For more information, call 936.294.1836.


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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
Aug. 1, 2013
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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