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SHSU Update For Week Of June 22

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Alumni To Kick Off Summer Events With Dynamo Night

Dynamo FlierSHSU alumni and friends can have a ball in Houston as they watch the Dynamo take on the Toronto FC while networking with other Bearkat soccer fans during the SHSU Alumni Association’s first “Night with the Houston Dynamo” on July 19.

The game will kick off at 8 p.m. at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, and alumni and friends who arrive early can mix-and-mingle beginning at 6 p.m. in the Dynamo Beer Garden.

“We’ve hosted alumni events in Houston for the Astros and even in Arlington for the Rangers, so we would like to offer something new and exciting for our alumni,” said event coordinator Casey Hughes. “It will be a great opportunity to get out and do something fun with fellow Bearkats.”

Tickets are $29, which includes a game ticket and two pre-game drinks in the beer garden.

Tickets can be purchased online through the SHSU Alumni Relations website, at alumni.shsu.edu, and will be held at “will call” for pickup on game day.

The deadline to purchase tickets is July 10.

BBVA Compass Stadium is located at 220 Texas Ave. in Houston; the Dynamo Beer Garden is located on Orange Avenue. Beer garden attendees must be at least 21 years old to enter.

For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 936.294.1841 or email alumni@shsu.edu.


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Dance Profs’ Company To Premiere ‘Dark Matter’ In Houston

NobleMotion Dance, the dance company led by assistant professors Andy Noble and Dionne Sparkman Noble, will journey into deep space for its latest premiere, “Dark Matter: Evidence of Things Unseen” Aug. 29-30 and Sept. 4-6 at The Barn in Houston.

Known for its “physically daring and visually stunning work,” NobleMotion will transform The Barn theater into a planetarium environment, for its production, designed to give audiences an experience of “wonder” as dancers test the limits of gravity, according to Dionne.

The collaborative, full-length evening will feature the choreography and athleticism of NobleMotion Dance; light design/technology from SHSU dance department technical coordinator David Deveau and SHSU senior dance major Jonathan Kinsey; and original music by Kinsey.

Performances will begin at 8 p.m.

Dark Matter postcardDark Matter, a type of matter that neither emits nor absorbs light, delves into concepts of science and faith.

Inspired by Einstein’s “Theory of Relativity,” Darwinism, and passages from the Bible, the Nobles’ “Dark Matter” examines the human condition and our place in the universe, according to Dionne.

The evening is comprised of two halves, “Space” and “Time,” each measuring the evolution of humanity in different ways.

In “Space,” the stage environment is continually altered to convey a journey.

“The piece begins on train platforms with dancers jumping, spinning and flipping onto the structures,” Dionne said. “The set is later transformed into a planetarium environment where the audience is immersed in projected stars.

“Video footage of the dancers is captured and altered in real time and then projected onto multiple screens to create images of dancers floating.”

“Time” utilizes a mirrored floor and projection to hide, liquefy and even digitize the live dancers suggesting a warping of reality. Adding to the evening’s intrigue, an Easter egg has been hidden carefully inside of the work, according to Andy, who choreographed the piece.

“‘Dark Matter’ is mysterious and thought-provoking and our audiences will be enthralled by the dancing and special effects,” he said.

Tickets are $20 general admission in advance and $25 at the door.

Tickets can be purchased online at noblemotiondance.com or by contacting Dionne at 832.627.9663.

The Barn is located at 2201 Preston St. in Houston.

For more information, visit noblemotiondance.com.


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Johnson Coliseum To Host Grappling Championship

The North American Grappling Association, the world’s largest mixed grappling tournament circuit, will come to Johnson Coliseum on June 28 for its annual NAGA Texas Grappling Championship No-Gi and Gi tournament.

The competition will begin at 10 a.m., with gates opening at 9 a.m.

NAGA was established in 1995 and currently has more than 220,000 competitors worldwide who practice submission grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Gi competitors compete under standardized Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, while No-Gi competitors compete under NAGA rules.

This will be the first time the NAGA competition will be held at the coliseum, and Ed Chatal, associate director for facilities with the SHSU Department of Recreational Sports, said he expects a wide variety of age groups and both male and female fighters to compete.

“This event is certainly something different and unique to Huntsville. It’s very affordable, entertaining and competitive,” Chatal said.

“The coliseum makes every effort to bring a wide variety of events to the SHSU community and Huntsville community. Over the last four years we have had three major concerts, three comedy shows, five gospel concerts, TNA Wrestling and the Harlem Globetrotters,” he said.

Add these to our SHSU athletics events and university calendar events and it makes for a very busy year.”

Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased at NAGAFIGHTER.com or at the door for $15. For family rates, visit NAGAFIGHTER.com.

For more information call 936.294.1741.


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Planetarium To Explore ‘Castaways,’ ‘Pieces Of Glass’

Members of the Bearkat and Huntsville communities can take a break from the heat in the Sam Houston State University Planetarium, which will be offering it’s “cool” summer series programming featuring two showings.

The SHSU physics department will present “Cosmic Castaways” on June 25, July 16, July 23 and Aug. 6 and “Two Small Pieces of Glass” on July 9 and July 30 in Farrington Building Room 102.

All presentations will begin at 3:30 p.m. and will include a movie presentation and a virtual tour of the night sky “as it would appear for an observer any where in the world, thousands of years in the past or thousands of years in the future” with the state-of-the-art Mediaglobe I projector, according to Mike Prokosch, physics department staff laboratory assistant. This also includes a discussion of the constellations and planets visible during the summer.

"Cosmic Castaways" is an original production of the Ward Beecher Planetarium and is partially based on the research of Youngstown State University astrophysicists John Feldmeier and Patrick Durrell about stars found in between galaxies.

“Two Small Pieces of Glass” takes audiences on a journey through the history of modern astronomy from the perspective of two youths who learn about the different types of telescopes and who invented them including Galileo, Isaac Newton, and Edwin Hubble.

The July 30 presentation will also include a discussion of the Rosetta Spacecraft, which is scheduled to be closing in on its destination by that date, and on Aug. 6, Prokosch will discuss the approaching Perseid Meteor Shower, scheduled for Aug. 12.

Admission to all programming is free, and groups are welcome.

Daytime shows require a visitor's parking pass, available through the Ragsdale Visitor and Alumni Center.

For more information, contact Prokosch at mpw007@shsu.edu or 936.294.3664 or visit the Planetarium WikiPage.


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Photographers Can Take Shot At Prizes For Museum Contest

Amateur photographers of all ages will once again have the opportunity to get exposure for their work and compete for cash prizes as part of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum’s fifth annual photography contest.

The contest will recognize non-professional photographers in six categories: “landscape,” “groups and groupings,” “up close,” “pets,” “people,” and “black and white.”

image of a wolf with a bright blue eye, hald of its face hidden by shadow
Last year's "Best in Show" prize was awarded to Denise Camp for her photo entitled “Kya” (above). —Submitted photo

Prizes will include $200 for “Best in Show,” $100 for Reserve Best in Show, and $20 for first, $15 for second, and $10 for third place in each of the categories. Fifty “curator’s choice” prizes will also be awarded.

Submissions will be accepted until Sept. 28 and must be postmarked or delivered to the museum by 4 p.m. that day.

There is a $5 cost per entry, and photographers may enter as many categories as they wish, but no more than two photographs per contestant per category,” according to Megan Buro, museum marketing coordinator.

Entries will be voted on by museum visitors from Oct. 14 until Nov. 30, when the photos will be on display in the Katy and E. Don Walker Sr. Education Center exhibit gallery, and winners will be announced during the awards reception on Dec. 1, from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Walker Education Center.

“This contest is open to anyone and everyone who is an avid amateur photographer,” Buro said.

Application forms, along with rules for the contest, are available at the museum during business hours or online at samhoustonmemorialmuseum.com/news.

“Any violation of the contest rules will result in disqualification, so it is important for contestants to read the rules and regulations for the contest,” Buro said.

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum is open from Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Sundays, from noon to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, contact museum exhibits curator Casey Roon at 936.294.3292 or Buro at 936.294.3839.


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Students Awarded $10k As ‘Future Business Legends’

Siobhan Killalea and Jennifer Watkins may be students now, but they have the potential to become “future business legends,” according to the Texas Business Hall of Fame, which recently awarded the Sam Houston State University business administration majors $10,000 each to help further their educational careers and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Killalea, a master’s student, and Watkins, a senior from Willis, were two of 31 students from 23 universities across the state recognized by the organization for their exceptional leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit, according to the organization.

In addition to the 31 “future business legends,” the organization will recognize six business leaders as “business legends” during a luncheon ceremony on Nov. 5 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas and again that evening during he Annual Induction Dinner, where the business legends will be inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

“This year’s scholarship recipients have all demonstrated significant leadership in their communities and entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Evan Melrose, vice president for scholarships and the endowment. “I’m confident the recipients will make a meaningful impact on Texas and carry on the entrepreneurial legacy set by our inducted honorees.”

The recipients also span a variety of interests, from finance, to science, to technology, construction, nonprofit, medicine and advertising.

“With creative ideas to overhaul industries and reimagine business practices, this year’s recipients represent Texas’s best business students,” Melrose said.

The Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation is a non-profit organization of 75 directors who are business leaders from across the state. The organization’s mission is to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of Teas business leaders to perpetuate and inspire the values of entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and community leadership in all generations of Texans.

For 32 years, the foundation has honored members of the state’s business community and has sought out future entrepreneurs and leaders who will keep Texas on the top by awarding more than $3 million in scholarships to students pursuing an education in Texas.


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Global Center Receives Grant For Poland Project

The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy at Sam Houston State University has received some help in fulfilling its mission of training professional journalists, working to create healthier relationships between the press and the entities it covers, and raising awareness of complex issues.

In May, center executive director Kelli Arena, the Dan Rather Chair of Journalism in the mass communication department, was informed the center had received the Headliners Foundation of Texas’s first grant.

The Headliners Foundation Special Project Fund grant will support the GCJD’s upcoming Poland project, for which the center will travel to Poland’s Kielce region for a three-day workshop July 1-3.

“GCJD will work with journalists to educate them about their role in society, specifically as it relates to small communities and local journalism,” Arena said. “Communities across Poland have received European Union funding in unprecedented amounts, prompting the need for journalists to know how to track the funds and hold those in power accountable.

“GCJD will work with selected journalists to help them track the money flow, and arm citizens with accurate and helpful information as their communities are impacted,” she said. “Further, GCJD trainers and journalists will share best practices and tools with their Polish counterparts to develop their ability to critically view information from a different perspective.”

Founded in 1983, the Headliners Foundation of Texas is a 501(c)(3) that promotes excellence in journalism by providing scholarships to promising communications students; recognizing outstanding works of journalism and leaders in the industry; and sponsoring special projects that promote journalistic excellence and preserve history.

The Foundation’s Special Projects Fund, which was made possible by the bequest of Headliners Club member Wilmot Horton, awards grants for journalism-related projects that support the Foundation’s mission, with an emphasis on training and education.


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CJ To Welcome Freshmen With New Learning Community

This fall, the College of Criminal Justice will open a new dorm for criminal justice majors, where freshman can live and study together as part of a learning community.

Freshman Learning Communities are designed to help students successfully transition into their first year at college, not only helping them stay in school but giving them a foundation for their remaining college years, according to CJ adviser Fabia Mendez.

The communities were created by the First-Year Experience Office with the mission of bringing students together based on common academic or general interests. Students in the program enroll in the same core courses to support each other socially as well as academically by bonding with peers and establishing study groups.

photo of the front of the Margret Lea Houston house
The Houston House (above) will be home to the inaugural cohort of students who will participate in the College of Criminal Justice's new Freshman Learning Community by living and taking 9 hours of classes together. —Submitted photo

“We will be utilizing one of the small houses where it will be all criminal justice majors with a resident adviser who is also a criminal justice major,” Mendez said. “The way the communities will work is that they will all take three of the same classes together in the fall and spring of their freshman year.”

These classes will include “Introduction to the Criminal Justice System,” “United States History to 1876,” “Introduction to Collegiate Studies,” “Criminology,” United States History Since 1876,” and “History of Rock, Jazz, and Popular Music.”

Response to other freshmen learning communities has been positive, with students reporting that they appreciate the structure provided by the academic and social support of the living component, according to Candice Wilson, the FYE program coordinator.

“So far in the recruiting process, I’ve found that with our criminal justice students, the two options appeal to students who just have different ideas of how they want to be supported in their first year,” Wilson said. “Regardless of whether or not the communities live together, previous learning communities have demonstrated an ability to create bonds between students that stand for years.”

Senior CJ major Erin-Audrey Allen attributes her success in the CJ program, in part, to her participation in a freshman learning community. She made straight A’s and the Dean’s List her freshman year and later became a CJ Ambassador, representing the criminal justice college at various events.

“I feel as if I had the opportunity to continue the program throughout the rest of my college career, I would have,” Allen said.

Allen said she has noticed that while many of the students she started college with are no longer at SHSU, all of her freshman learning community cohorts are, even if they all didn’t make straight A’s while participating in the program.

“The people in my group came from a smorgasbord of backgrounds,” she said. “We had cowboys, cheerleaders, baseball players, everything, and they are all still students at Sam Houston State University.”

More information, or to apply, visit shsu.edu/dept/fye/FLC/flc-programs/criminal-justice.html.


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Today@Sam Seeks Summer, Fall 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 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 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 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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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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