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SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 5

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Fifth Dance Gallery To Take Center Stage At SHSU

Renowned dancers from all over the world will brisé onto the Sam Houston State University campus for the fifth annual Dance Gallery Festival: Texas Experience, Oct. 17-18, in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

Dance Gallery imageryProduced and curated by von Ussar danceworks, the Dance Gallery Festival will include 11 choreographers and companies that will spend three days teaching master classes to upper-level dance students and will give two public performances for the Huntsville and surrounding communities.

Performances will begin at 8 p.m. each day, in the GPAC Dance Theater.

The Texas venue of the festival cultivates relationships between students and professionals and provides exposure for participating companies in the Houston area, according to Dionne Noble, assistant professor of dance.

“I’m interested in work that is exciting, fresh and unpredictable,” said Astrid von Ussar, Dance Gallery’s artistic director, in a recently published article with Arts + Culture Texas magazine. “We look for new artists whom we can help to the next level and connect them with other opportunities.”

Choreographers and companies featured in this year’s Texas festival include: Abarukas, from New York; Adriane Fang and Colleen Thomas, from Maryland; Amy Diane Morrow, from Austin/Tel Aviv, Israel; von Ussar, from New York; Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, from Dallas; Erin Cardinal, from Seattle; Jacksonville Dance Theatre, from Florida; Mike Esperanza, from California; NobleMotion Dance, from Houston; Revolve Dance Company, from Houston; and Robert J. Priore, from Washington, D.C.

In addition to classes and performances, a juried panel of faculty and area artists selected choreographer Maurice Causey, formerly of the Forsythe Company in Germany, to conduct a two-week guest residency at SHSU.

During the residency, Causey will choreograph a new work for SHSU’s upper-level students, which will be performed at their fall concert, and will teach technique and choreography classes.

The Dance Gallery Festival was founded to address the scarcity of affordable venues available for presentation of modern dance, and the festival showcases the works of both established and emerging choreographers in a state-of-the-art theater. In 2011, Andy Noble, SHSU associate professor of dance, became the festival’s associate artistic director.

Tickets are $15 and are available at shsu.edu/boxoffice or by phone at 936.294.2339.

For more information, visit dancegalleryfestival.com.


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Student Demonstration To Shine Light On Slavery

Students at Sam Houston State University may be surprised to see something a bit different in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area during this semester’s Homecoming festivities—a dramatic performance illustrating an insidious epidemic that is infecting society.

End It Movement promoAs a part of the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy’s campaign to shine a light on modern-day slavery, students will act as slaves in one of the most congregated areas on campus, exposing the reality of human trafficking, according to Kelli Arena, GCJD executive director.

The student demonstration, which will be held on Wednesday (Oct. 8), from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the LSC Mall Area, is predicated on a simple idea–if you saw it going on, would you end it?

For the activity, GCJD is partnering with popular social media effort “End It Movement” to help students at SHSU realize that slavery still exists in our world today.

“At GCJD, we try to bring attention to topics that affect society in important ways,” Arena said. “It's especially gratifying when we shine a light on an issue that SHSU students and the larger community may not be thinking about.”

The events are being held in conjunction with the GCJD Speaker Series event, featuring author and former child slave Shyima Hall, on Oct. 14, at 5 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.

Also as part of the series will be an exhibit on Oct. 13-14, in the LSC Atrium.

For more information on how you can be “in it to end it,” visit shsu.edu/shyimahall or call the GCJD at 936.294.2479.


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Gripping Drama To Open Theatre Season

Machinal posterSam Houston State University’s department of theatre and musical theatre will present a play inspired by the real-life New York murder trial of Ruth Snyder, which prompted sensational headlines in 1927, with its rendition of Sophie Treadwell’s Broadway hit “Machinal,” opening Tuesday (Oct. 7).

The fall season premier will run through Saturday (Oct. 11), at 8 p.m. each day, in the University Theatre Center’s Erica Starr Theatre.

Meaning "automatic" or "mechanical" in French, “Machinal” is a chilling drama that uncovers the life of Helen, a young Long Island housewife living in a mechanized world seemingly void of humanity.

Surrounded by people conforming to the expectations of society, Helen assimilates and becomes a part of the social machine—she goes to work, marries and has a child.
But when she meets a young man who fuels her lust for life, her need for freedom materializes into a dangerous reality.

Few are familiar with playwright Sophie Treadwell, according to the play’s director, David McTier, SHSU associate professor of theatre.

An esteemed journalist and actress, Treadwell wrote 40 plays in the first half of the 20th century.

Among her journalist assignments was the sensational murder involving Snyder, from which came “Machinal,” which is now considered a high point in Expressionist theatre.

“Machinal” features Shenae’a Moore, Brynn Hicks, Lauren Holcomb, Megan Jankovic, Ashten Lane, Monica Malone, Anna Maria Morris, Christine Saenz, Clint Copeland, Jose Gomez, Bryan Okoro, Michael Stewart, Tanner Stogsdill, and Brady Suggs.

The University Theatre Center is located at 1740 Bobby K. Marks Drive and 17th Street.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for students and senior citizens. They can be purchased at shsu.edu/boxoffice or by phone at 936.294.1339.


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Job Fair Attracts Teacher-Seeking Schools, Districts

Students looking to go from the classrooms of Sam Houston State University to the classrooms of one of the thousands of schools across the state will have an opportunity to talk with some of those schools on Wednesday (Oct. 8).

The Fall Teacher Job Fair will bring representatives from approximately 57 schools and school districts to campus from 9 a.m. to noon to discuss full-time teaching positions with SHSU students and alumni. The event will be in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

“The Fall Teacher Job Fair provides aspiring teachers and administrators a wonderful opportunity to network with recruiters from area and statewide school districts,” said Mitch Parker, Career Services marketing and events coordinator.

Recruiters from districts from Texas’s metropolitan areas, as well as smaller school districts and a few private schools, will be available, including Bryan, College Station, Conroe, Galena Park, Houston, Killeen, Mesquite, New Waverly, Pasadena, and San Antonio, among many others.

In addition, agencies such as the GETCAP Head Start, Sylvan of The Woodlands and Education Service Center Region 4 will be available to discuss other employment possibilities, and the Texas Teachers Alternative Certification program will be at the fair to talk with non-education majors about potentially becoming a teacher.

Students are encouraged to bring copies of resumes and dress professionally.

For more information, contact Career Services at 936.294.1713 or careerservices@shsu.edu, or to see a complete list of participating school districts, visit the Jobs For Kats website.


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Artist To Share Experience In Talk, Workshop

Christopher Lavery, whose work is currently on display in Sam Houston State University’s Gaddis Geeslin Gallery, will discuss his art for a closing lecture of the exhibit “Anything That Has a Front,” while also presenting a hands-on workshop for students.

The discussion will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday (Oct. 9) in Art Building E Room 108.

Lavery artwork
Christopher Lavery's artwork, on display in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery through Oct. 9, details his perspectives on the human experience. He will discuss his work as part of a closing event for the exhibit on Oct. 9. —Submitted photo

In the exhibit currently on display, Lavery and wife Ariel explore the human experience as it relates to consumerism and irony that leads to an overall sense of entrapment, according to Annie Strader, assistant professor of art and 3G committee chair.

Lavery has exhibited his work in museums across the nation, as well as internationally in Columbia, the Czech Republic, France, Israel, Mexico, Palestine, and Peru.

In 2008, he was awarded the Emerging Public Artist Project Grant from the Colorado Percent for the Arts at Denver International Airport for his project entitled “Cloudscape,” a monumental-scale project that won an award in 2010 from the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network.

He also has held residency at the well-known Vermont Studio Center, where he began to develop a new body of work about the rapidly developing global warming crisis and the melting of the polar icecaps.

“Christopher is a practitioner of a profession that is able to ask questions as a basis for its objective reality and creates works that reflect his personal questionings and observations of the world,” Strader said. “He often researches his work by visiting the site or place that the artwork will be exhibited and is informed by the nature of a space—often influenced by the specific characteristics of the site, place and cultural connections.”

Putting into his practice visual art, as a philosophical way of living, Lavery believes that “art practice in the postmodern era is questionable and undeniably dysfunctional due to the nature of equal sensibilities developed towards undefined or lost humanitarianism,” he said in an artist statement.

The next day (Oct. 10), Lavery will present a “Drawdio Workshop” for art students, from 2-4 p.m. in the WASH Building.

“Drawdio” will provide hands on instruction to assemble simple, electronic musical synthesizers that use the conductive properties of pencil graphite and your body to create different sounds.

Lavery will discuss the use of small electronics, microchip and arduino technology in contemporary art making and participants will create drawn soundscapes.

Students interested in participating in the workshop must register in advance to attend, in the art office, located in Art Building F. Space is limited.

For more information on either event, contact Strader at 936.294.1322, or "Like" the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery on Facebook.


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ROTC Hosts Lady Bearkats For Team-Building Activity

The Sam Houston State University Army ROTC does more than train the men and women who sign on for the program for careers in the military; the Bearkat Battalion also shares the lessons being taught through the program with other groups on campus as a means of staying connected with the campus community.

On Sept. 20, the battalion hosted the Lady Bearkats Basketball team for a strengthening and team building event at Gibbs Ranch.

ROTC students playing paintball
(Above) Lady Bearkat basketball coaches prepare to "suppress" team members as they compete in an obstacle course as part of their team-building exercise with the ROTC. (Below) Players divided up for a Tug-O-War activity. –Submitted photos
ROTC playing Tug-of-War

The event was designed to challenge the team both mentally and physically through various events during the day, according to ROTC cadet Samuel Houston, who serves as the captain of the ROTC Ranger Challenge team and was responsible for the execution of the event.

“The main goal of the event was to get the team to bond and build trust and camaraderie with each other before their upcoming season,” Houston said.

The Lady Bearkats competed in several relay events and competed in modified military activities, such as land navigation, where the teams had to use a map and provided clues to locate cones in the woods.

In addition to learning how to apply first aid on an injured individual, the team was also required to properly carry the “injured person” using a military stretcher a certain distance working as a team.

The team also competed in an obstacle course that involved climbing walls and crawling through tunnels and under barbed wire, all while being “suppressed by paintball guns” used by their coaches, “who greatly enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in such a special way,” according to Houston.

After lunch, the team competed in the final event, Tug-O-War.

“The Tug-O-War event was quite a show, and the team soon had the ROTC cadets joining in on the struggle to come out the victor,” Houston said.

Upon conclusion on the final event, the team met with SHSU professor of military science Lt. Col. Robert McCormick, who spoke about how being a good leader means having to be a good follower and how the military is similar to a basketball team in that you have to have that trust that the teammate on your right and left will do their job and they trust that you will do the same.

“At the end of the day the Lady Bearkats left the event hot, dirty, and tired, but they had gained those experiences as a team and are continuing to grow and support each other as they prepare to begin the season and take on their opponents on the basketball court as a team,” Houston said.


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Staff Council Spotlights Vending Accountant For September

Marcus GutierrezMarcus Gutierrez, an accounting clerk II in the Sam Houston State University vending department, was selected as the SHSU Staff Council’s September “Staff Spotlight.”

Gutierrez began working at SHSU in the fall of 2007, as a student worker in the Vending Department.

After graduating in 2009, he was offered the accounting clerk position, for which he handles all of the department’s finances.

His hobbies include spending time with family and friends, camping, going to Texas country concerts, taking road trips, and participating in BBQ cook-offs with family cook off teams.

Some of Gutierrez’s interests include watching college football and the Houston Texans; computers; and music.

In addition to his work at SHSU, Gutierrez has served on the “Gatekeepers Rodeo Committee” for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for the past five years.

The Staff Council “Spotlight on Staff” recognizes a staff member each month, as a way to get to know him or her better and show appreciation for the work he or she does for the SHSU.

Staff members are randomly selected by the Staff Council public relations committee, and recipients are surprised with a certificate of appreciation and a gift basket including gift certificates, SHSU items and homemade goods.


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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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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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