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Today @ Sam

SHSU Update For Week Of May 5

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Astros Night On Deck For Alumni Association

The Sam Houston State University Alumni Association will step up to the plate on June 5 to give students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends the opportunity to network while watching the Houston Astros in action.

The annual SHSU Night at Minute Maid Park will include a pre-game reception at Champions Pavillion, inside the park, and the opportunity to watch the Astros take on the Baltimore Orioles.

The reception, during which food and drinks will be served, will begin at 6 p.m., followed by first pitch at 7:10 p.m.

“SHSU Night at Minute Maid Park is one of the favorite events we host for our alumni and friends each year,” said Alumni Relations director Charlie Vienne. “This event is talked about and anticipated throughout the year. We always receive calls early in the spring from alumni wanting to know when SHSU Night at Minute Maid Park will be.

“It is a lot of fun and a great opportunity to visit with alumni and friends of all ages and backgrounds,” he said.

The Alumni Association will provide chartered transportation to the game departing from the Chemistry and Forensic Science Building parking lot at 4:30 p.m.

A total trip package including transportation, the reception and game ticket is $75. Packages with game tickets and the pre-game reception, or for game tickets and the reception, are also available through the association for $40 per person, or season ticket holders can attend just the reception for $25 each.

The reservation deadline for the charter bus and reception is May 24.

Individuals not choosing to purchase an alumni package can obtain game tickets online through the Houston Astros website at astros.com/. Various seating options are available.

This year’s SHSU Night at Minute Maid Park is sponsored, in part, by Clint, ’74, and Becky, ’75, Fancher; Carolyn Chipman Faulk, ’70; Walter, ’79, and Jan Fitzgerald; Annanelle Hay, ’64; Chuck, ’81, and Debbie Jones; Robert and Stella, ’71, Koryciak; Ron, ’61, and Donna Koska; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Terry and Ellen Happe, ’82, Phillips; Edgar, ’56, and Carolyn Reeves; and Frank and Mary Ellen, ’64 and ’68, Thornton.

For more information, or to make a reservation for the chartered bus or pre-game reception, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 936.294.1841 or 800.283.7478.



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ROTC Cadets Attend West Point Training

Four cadets in SHSU’s Army ROTC Bearkat Battalion interacted with senior cadets from West Point and universities all over the country and gained valuable leadership training during the Mission Command Conference at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., last week.

ROTC cadets in front of statue at West Point
SHSU's ROTC cadets visited West Point (above) last week for leadership training and also took time out to tour New York City (below) while in the area. —Submitted photos
ROTC cadets in New York City

Rachel Brass, Lauren Conner, Forrest LeBlanc and Colby Morgan participated in leadership conferences, panels on professional work relationships, and creating world-class training for soldiers of the United States Army.

“The conferences and discussions that we had with the current and future leaders greatly broadened my understanding of the role I will have as a leader of soldiers as a United States Army Officer,” Brass said.

The cadets were able to engage in discussions with current leaders from across the entire Army in every profession of arms, from infantry and field artillery to medical services and logisticians.
“Being able to interact with mentors in the office that I will soon enter before commissioning was invaluable,” Conner said.

The cadets also toured the academy, seeing the West Point cadets’ living quarters, academic facilities, and physical fitness programs.

The rigorous schedule of a Cadet at West Point is vastly different from that of one from Sam, according to Morgan.

“I was very impressed with the emphasis placed on developing physical fitness of the Cadets at West Point,” he said.

Lt. Col. David Yebra, professor of military science at SHSU and 1990 West Point graduate, toured the Cadets through many of the historic sites around West Point, dating back to the American Revolution.

The Corps of Cadets at West Point has been producing the elite officers of the United States Army since its establishment in 1802, according to Yebra.

“Being able to see the historic sites of the academy which produced great officers such as General MacArthur and Eisenhower was very enriching,” Le Blanc said.

“This experience thoroughly broadened the cadets’ knowledge on their role as an Army officer, improved their ability to work with their non-commissioned officers, and allowed them to bring home training philosophies to Sam Houston State University to better prepare the Cadets of SHSU for their career in the Army,” Yebra said.



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Exhibit To Highlight Community ‘Photographic Narratives’

Art students who recently “ACE-ed” their “Photographic Narratives” course will exhibit those works in the Lowman Student Center Gallery Sunday (May 5) through Saturday (May 11).

"Volunteer working at Veggie Village" by Casey Mills
In "Volunteer working at Veggie Village," photography student Casey Mills documented the crops planted and cared for by Interfaith of The Woodlands’ volunteers. —Submitted photo

The exhibition will feature photographs completed as part of the course’s Academic Community Engagement requirement, which asked students to identify a nonprofit community partner and document an aspect of that organization.

The resulting images are being donated to the organization to use for publicity and self-publishing books to accompany the exhibition.

Rebecca Finley, associate professor of photography, said she is very excited about the students’ work and experience in the course.

“I learned about the rich programs provided in the Huntsville community and enjoyed watching the students become voices for their organizations,” she said. “Each critique provided the opportunity for students to learn not only about photography techniques, but also about the roles of these community organizations.

“They educated each other as well,” she said.

Juston Casias, Jenna Moore and Amber Zama collaborated to document the Town Creek Retirement Community’s move to Creekside Retirement Community.

Their work showcases the residents playing games, reminiscing in their rooms and preparing for the big move.

“The students also volunteered their time to assist with the move,” Finley said.

Tori Franke-Mireles photographed the children of Summit Christian Academy, Milah Moes documented children at Tomorrow’s Promise, and Jessica Schaper collaborated with Joshua Yates to work with Boys and Girls Club.

“We see a happy, and sometimes isolated, look at childhood through these projects,” Finley said.

Elizabeth Gonzalez’s photographs take a look at the purely clinical side of a pregnancy center, while Jacquelyn Schroeder takes a very personal journey into patients’ homes, in working with Crestview Home Health.

Devan Hatfield made friends with the residence of Bridgewood Farms by taking a look at their lives, work and social interactions; Kelsey Klaevemann and Kylee Kleiner learned about the patience and bravery of the Huntsville Fire Department.

Kleiner also worked with The Wildlife Rehabilitation Correlation, and her project makes one question the relationships and similarities between humans and animals, Finley said.

Preslie Padgett’s photographs give the viewer a glimpse into the work of the Rita B. Huff Animal Shelter.

Casey Mills experienced the lifecycle of produce grown by Veggie Village in a project that began as plants were being planted and cared for by Interfaith of The Woodlands’ volunteers and ends with a meal prepared with the veggies at a volunteer’s home.

Finally, Justin Mulbry looked at the community programming of the Huntsville Library, and Elise Weber volunteered her time to work with Habitat of Humanity in Houston.

A reception for the exhibit will be on Tuesday (May 7), from 6-8 p.m. in the LSC Gallery.

For more information, contact Finley at bfinley@shsu.edu or 936.294.3418.



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Sam Houston State To Study Specialty Courts

Sam Houston State University will evaluate the effectiveness of specialty courts in Nueces County as part of a new study funded by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s criminal justice assistance division.

Specialty courts were launched in Nueces County over the last two years to increase accountability and better coordinate treatment for specialized offenders, such as veterans and people with mental illness.

“Specialty courts, such as drug courts, have shown a reduction in drug use and in future criminal behavior by offenders,” said Gaylene Armstrong, director of criminal justice and criminology graduate programs at SHSU’s College of Criminal Justice. “Adapting this model to other important populations, such as veterans and those with mental illness, hold equally important promise.”

Nueces County, which is located in the Corpus Christi area, offers specialty courts for veterans, those with mental illness, drug offenders, domestic violence cases and reentry. These courts are designed to address underlying problems that led to criminal behavior through a team of court and treatment professionals.

The study will evaluate the courts based on the best practices available from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, examining offender compliance, assessment tools, qualifications for the program and program services. The study also will provide recommendations on improvements to programs, evaluations or policies of the specialty courts.
“We want to see the impact the courts are having on probationer compliance to the conditions of probation and recidivism rates,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong’s study will parallel a state study on specialty courts by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Advisory Council and is expected to be presented to the Texas Legislature this year. Over the last 10 years, the number of specialty courts has grown from nine to 140 across Texas.

The state study will examine evidence-based best practices, oversight, protection of participants’ right, the role of court team members and the need for solid data to measure court efficacy.

Armstrong’s study will include an analysis of program documents and reports, interviews with judges, program staff and treatment providers, and surveys of program participants. The final report will be delivered by Aug. 1.

Assisting with the study will be associate professor of criminal justice Todd Armstrong and graduate students Cassandra Atkin-Plunk and Nancy Johnson.



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CMIT Guides Sheriffs On Jail Operations

Dretke and sheriffs
CMIT executive director Doug Dretke welcomes sheriffs to the training recently held at SHSU. —Submitted photo

Newly elected sheriffs throughout Texas were given a primer recently on how to effectively and efficiently operate county jails by the Correctional Management Institute of Texas at Sam Houston State University.

About 20 sheriffs attended the four-day professional development and training, which covered the wide array of issues that comes with operating a county jail. In addition to providing a general overview of jail operations and standards, there were special sessions on leadership, legal issues, con games, in-custody death issues, population control, the Prison Rape Elimination Act, human resources issues, staff training, budgets and contracts.

Among the sheriffs who presented and support the programs were Chris Kirk, Kelly Rowe, Greg Hamilton and Clint McRae.

All but 19 of Texas’s 254 counties have county jail facilities, handling more than 63,500 inmates as of March 2013. Sixteen counties have privatized their jails, but the county sheriff still maintains oversight of the facilities. Participating sheriffs represented Bandera, Chambers, Crosby, Dickens, Edwards, Franklin, Galveston, Garza, Hill, Hockley, Hutchinson, Jack, Kendall, Lamar, Marion, Mills, Nacogdoches, Shelby, Tom Green and Van Zandt counties.

“It is a tremendous honor for the Correctional Management Institute of Texas to work collaboratively with the Sheriffs Association of Texas, the Texas Jail Association, and the Texas Association of Counties to deliver this critical program focusing on enhancing public safety within our communities across Texas,” said Doug Dretke, executive director of the CMIT. “This training was developed in a response to a number of requests from sheriffs across Texas recognizing the need for a program specific to their significant responsibility in operating their county jails.”

Under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the county sheriff is the keeper of the county jail and is responsible for protecting people committed to custody. Each jail is required to meet minimum standards, rules and procedures, which are monitored by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. Among the issues are classification, supervision, licensing, life safety training, searches for contraband, food services, work assignments, screening for mental disabilities, suicide prevention, disciplinary procedures and grievances, and services and activities, to name a few.

Other issues addressed were ways sheriffs facing overcrowding issues could control the population by working within the criminal justice system; training and human resource issues; and tips on how to budget for the facility, as well as how to convey important information to commissioners court when trying to gain funding.

Finally, while many sheriffs have a law enforcement background, they were exposed to the skills needed to be an effective leader in a correctional setting. One of those opportunities is the Texas Jail Association, which provides ongoing trainings and conferences, as well as networking opportunities. Each of the 68 newly elected sheriffs was granted a complimentary one-year membership to the association.



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Staff Council Spotlights Press Operator For April

Stuart KingStuart King, press operator II in the Sam Houston Press and Copy Center, was selected by the SHSU Staff Council as the April “Staff Spotlight.”

King has worked in the SHSU Press and Copy Center since September 2006, and he says he enjoys what he does and strives to produce quality printing for the university community.

“The university is a great place to work and this helps with motivation,” he said. “Friendly people all around the campus make working here enjoyable.”

King and his wife Sheila have one son, Kyle, who is a sophomore at SHSU.

His interests include touring on motorcycle.



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Today@Sam Seeks Summer Calendar Info

The university Communications Office is now collecting information on campus events for its summer and 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
May 3, 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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