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SHSU Update For Week Of Oct. 26

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Animation Professor Selected For International Film Festival

Sam Houston State University assistant professor of computer animation Edward Morin will share his animated work, "In Between Here and There" in the upcoming international “Without Words Film Festival 2014,” which begins on Nov. 30.

headshot Edward Morin
Edward Morin

Selected as only one of 19 participants from 263 entries, the piece will be presented at Théâtre du Saulcy, University of Lorraine, Metz, France.

"In Between Here and There" is an edge-articulation animation that uses a sequence of three images of power lines as the source for the paths of the animated elements.

“In this project I was interested in exploring the space between knowing and not knowing, and what it is like to slip back and forth between the two,” he said.

The Without Words Film Festival is an annual event focused on video art that uses words only to announce its title and author. All other aspects of the film are without words; hence, the title of the festival.

A juried panel selects the top three videos for awarded recognition.

The theme of this year’s Without Words Film Festival is “digital superimpositions,” describing a trick used in films, television and photography, in which a second shooting is superimposed photographically over a first shooting.

Morin said he is excited to share his work with international audiences.

“Because these films are without words, it makes the work accessible to a broad audience because there are no language barriers,” Morin said.

Morin’s animation can be viewed online on Vimeo.


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Webinar To Highlight Challenges Of Unsubmitted Assault Kits

Across the nation, police departments are grappling with what to do with the large numbers of sexual assault kits that were never submitted to a crime lab for examination, presenting the challenge of notifying victims and working on large numbers of cases after kit testing is complete.

To help address the issue, the National Institute of Justice funded two research projects nationwide—in Houston and Detroit—to develop solutions to the problems.

Bill Wells, the lead researcher in Houston, will join with three other experts on Friday (Oct. 31) to discuss the lessons learned—and steps taken—to improve sexual assault investigations in the fourth largest city in the country.

screencap of Bill WellsThe free online webinar, “Taking on the Challenge of Unsubmitted Sexual Assault Kits,” will be presented by the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School of Democratic Governance and Innovation.

It will be offered for free by the Sam Houston State University College of Criminal Justice to students and law enforcement professionals, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Criminal Justice Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

The webinar also will feature Rebecca Campbell, from Michigan State University; Noel Busch-Armendariz, from the University of Texas at Austin; and Mary Lentschke, assistant chief of the Houston Police Department. NIJ social science analyst Bethany Backes will moderate the panel.

Following the presentation, Wells will be available in the Kerper Courtroom to answer audience questions.

The Houston project used a multi-disciplinary approach to address the sexual assault kit issue, which has led to changes in the investigation of sexual assault cases.

Among the programs adopted were a hotline for sexual assault victims to check on their cases; a justice advocate to serve as a bridge between sexual assault survivors and investigators; additional resources and training for law enforcement officers investigating cases; and support services through the Houston Area Women’s Center and by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.

“When you talk about a response to this, you need to think holistically and think about what’s going to happen in terms of a system response,” Wells said. “This is what we were able to do in Houston.”

The webinar is co-sponsored by the NIJ and the Government Innovators Network.

It also can be viewed offsite by registering at tinyurl.com/cjwebinar1031.


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Ballerina To Discuss Career On Oct. 29

Acclaimed ballerina Martha Butler Long will discuss her career, which has included leading roles with the Houston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, on Wednesday (Oct. 29).

Martha Butler Long performs in "Swan Lake."

The event, hosted by the Sam Houston State University Department of Dance, will be from 1-2 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theatre.

Born and raised in Houston, Long began attending Houston Ballet School at 8 years old.

By the age of 17, she was a member of the Houston Ballet’s corps de ballet, followed by promotion to soloist and, ultimately, principal dancer.

From 1994-98, she was a featured soloist with American Ballet Theatre, based in New York City, an achievement that took only six months to accomplish.

She has danced the lead role in a variety of ballets, including “Giselle,” “Coppelia,” “The Nutcracker,” “Manon,” “Rodeo,” and others.

Today, she and her husband, Brian, are the parents of two daughters, and she serves as an administrative assistant for First Steps Montessori School in Houston.

During her presentation at SHSU, dance majors will serve as honorary hosts.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, call the dance department at 936.294.1875.


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Center To Host Conference On Women’s Leadership

Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, Margaret Sanger, Indira Gandhi—they have been listed among Time magazine’s 25 most powerful women of the past century, noted for the influence they had over the world in their own ways.

Sam Houston State University’s Center for Leadership and Service will offer students—some of whom may be the next great, powerful women—the opportunity to learn about topics related to women’s leadership on Nov. 21 through its Women’s Leadership Conference.

posterThe conference will include nine workshops presented over the course of three hours, allowing students to choose three sessions that explore a variety of issues related to women’s roles and their impact on business, health and education.

The event will be held from 2:30-8 p.m. on the third floor of the Lowman Student Center and will include a banquet with a keynote address by Mary Robbins, SHSU associate vice provost for Academic Affairs.

Presented by SHSU professors and administrators, the sessions also will examine relevant trends in becoming a better leader and how to continue balancing the day-to-day pressures of being an involved student, ultimately transferring it to future work life.

“Participating in this conference will challenge students of both genders to create new understandings related to women’s leadership, be open to new ideas and perspectives about women’s leadership topics, begin to formulate opinions about the advancement of women in leadership roles, and articulate the importance of advocating for women to develop as leaders,” said Meredith Conrey, associate director for leadership initiatives.

“Students will also learn to assess their own leadership journey, develop an increased motivation to lead, and make intentional decisions regarding long-term goals and objectives,” she said.

Participants must pre-register by Oct. 31, at a cost of $5; or by Nov. 7, at a cost of $10. Registration forms and payments may be submitted to the Center for Leadership and Service, in LSC Room 324A.

For more information, contact Conrey at 936.294.3467, or visit the Women’s Leadership Conference website.


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Octubafest To Celebrate Brass Instruments

Student and faculty performers will showcase the “haunting” sound of brass instruments for a “trio” of concerts celebrating “Octubafest” beginning Tuesday (Oct. 28).

The annual concert series will begin the week with a faculty recital featuring euphonium player Henry Howey and tuba player Robert Daniel, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.

The duo will be joined by new piano professor and internationally acclaimed soloist Josu de Solaun in the challenging “Ricercare,” by famed Conservatoire de Paris composer and professor Marcel Bitsch; Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto No. 1; and American composer Neal Corwell’s “Quiet Mountain” for flute, tuba and electronic music, accompanied by faculty flutist Kathy Daniel.

“The inspiration for this programmatic work was from a visit by the composer to the view, through the early morning fog, of Mt. Eniwadake, as seen across the smooth waters of Lake Shikotsu near Sapporo, Japan,” said Robert Daniel, who will also perform a “very unique” unaccompanied work by Oystein Baadsvik, called “Fnugg.”

Finally, Howey and Daniel will conclude the recital with an “amazing” piece based on the Irish/American folk song, “Believe Me, if All Those Enduring Young Charms,” by Simon Mantia.

On Sunday (Nov. 2), Octubafest will “wind” down with a duo of student concerts, beginning at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the GPAC Recital Hall.

Taking center stage, students from Howey’s Euphonium Studio and students from Daniel’s Tuba Studio will perform a wide variety of solos, both accompanied by the piano and unaccompanied, for those instruments.

Admission to all three recitals is free.

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


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MFA Concert To ‘Encompass Bodies’

Thirteen Sam Houston State University graduate students will integrate technology, aerial dance and “inventive” costuming into their modern- and contemporary-based choreography for the fall “ROYGBIV: Encompassing Bodies” concert.

The event will include 16 new pieces, presented Thursday and Friday (Oct. 30-31), beginning at 8 p.m. each day, in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Dance Theater.

This semester’s ROYGBIV concert, created by the department’s Master of Fine Arts degree candidates, includes “daring use of varied style and approach,” ranging from quirky, to serious, to post-apocalyptic, according to Mirannda Lindberg, dance graduate assistant.

“From dark and explorative, to energetic and humorous, the graduate students will place on stage their artistic voices in a diverse explosion of color, innovation, and dance fabrication,” she said. “People would be hard pressed find a show this diverse with this much excellent work presented anywhere else.”

Choreographers for “Encompassing Bodies” include Alicia Carlin, Robert Clark, Ashley Clos, Jaime Fruge Cynthia Garcia, Timithy Holecek, Tawnya Kannarr Margaret Leary, Lindberg, Jennifer Mabus, Travis Prokop, Sarah Sanchez, and Taryn Wilson.

Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online at shsu.edu/boxoffice or by calling 936.294.2339.

For more information, call the dance department at 936.294.1875.


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Students Produce ‘Cracked’ Exhibit In LSC

Eight SHSU art students and alumni will display the results of their work in an advanced ceramics class in the Lowman Student Center Art Gallery through Nov. 1.

“Cracked” features projects by Katy Strouse, Amber Eggleton, Lee Teran, Haley Dolive, Krystal Murray, Ashton Leath, and Justin Zachary, as well as alumna Kailey Smith, who graduated in August.

A reception for the exhibit will be on Thursday (Oct. 30), from 7-8 p.m. in the LSC Gallery.

Cracked postcardProjects on display include Strouse’s “Roll, Run, Jump, Climb, 2014” is a series that focuses on paused moments of human action, represented in abstracted forms and emphasized textures that parallel the struggles of attempting certain movements; and Eggleton’s “Communal Living, 2014,” which explores the connections between how animals interact with their environment and how humans build relationships with each other.

Teran’s “Render, 2014” turns tangible his interest in computer animation into a tangible, porcelain ceramic piece that reproduces the concepts and techniques used in both life drawing and animation; while Dolive’s “And, 2014” combines her interest in graphic design and topography by bringing together the ampersand character with ceramics.

Murray’s “Memory of Greene, 2014” is inspired by people who have made an impact in her life, creating worn objects that symbolize those who have stripped “away a level of comfort” or otherwise left a mark; Leath’s “Together, 2014” incorporates found materials into her ceramics to develop mental processes in an effort to visualize things unseen; and Zachary’s “Remember When, Julie, 2014” explores his experiences with death, with each of his materials—porcelain frames, cotton string, helium latex balloons—symbolizing his various connections.

Finally, Smith’s “Brother, You Are Not Yourself, 2014” is a laser-etched porcelain piece that reflects her family’s struggle with a drug-addicted sibling.

These projects were completed in a three-week period over the summer, for a class that was condensed into four weeks, which is a huge accomplishment because the ceramics process is a lengthy one, according to Leath.

“Usually ceramic work takes a long time to build, and it involves much patience and diligence,” she said. “Every artist involved is very proud of the work we all accomplished during this course.”


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Research Tackles Campus Police Perceptions Of Stalking

The second part of a series of studies on stalking in Texas by the Crime Victims’ Institute at the College of Criminal Justice found that while the vast majority of higher education police officers agreed that stalking is a problem on college campuses, less than half believed it is an issue at their own institutions.

Among the 56 campus police officers surveyed, seven out of 10 said their campuses did not have specific policies and procedures on investigating stalking cases, and few officers said they collaborated with outside agencies involved in assisting stalking victims.

Less than half of the officers reported being involved with an on-campus group to improve response to stalking; however, the overwhelming majority of campus police surveyed said they want to be involved in improving the campuses’ responses to prevention and to stalking.

Many cases are not reported to police because victims feel the situation was too minor, feared revenge, saw it as a private or personal matter or thought police would not believe their stories, according to the study, “Stalking on College Campuses: Perceptions & Approaches of Campus Law Enforcement Officers.” It can be found here.

The research series was designed to help bridge the gap between victims and campus police, because of previous research indicating that one out of every five female students experience stalking victimization during their college career, which is higher than rates experienced by the general public.

The second part also examined police responses to the crime.

“Given the prevalence of stalking on campus and also the complexities of complying with multiple federal regulations, it is important for campus administrators and police departments to consider how their policies and practices are operating and ways in which they could be improved,” said Nicole Wilkes, co-author of the report.

“More attention to this issue is needed to prevent these crimes from occurring and/or escalating,” the report said.

Authors also recommend that college and university campuses in Texas and throughout the nation should capitalize on campus law enforcement officers’ desire to be involved with improving their campus’s response through building partnerships and effective strategies for responding to campus violence.

Several federal mandates regulate how campuses should respond to stalking and gender-based violence, including Title IX, the Clery Act and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act.

The first study, “Stalking in Texas–2014,” provided an overview on data, policies, procedures and practices on stalking in the state. It is available here.


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Staff Council Spotlights Events Director

Charlene McWilliamsThe Sam Houston State University Staff Council has shined its light on director of university events Charlene McWilliams, offering her a basket of Bearkat goodies as the October selection for its “Spotlight on Staff.”

McWilliams joined the Office of the President last December after relocating to Texas from Indianapolis.

She brought to the position more than 13 years of experience in event planning and project management, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree in health care administration and a Master of Science degree in human resources management, both from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Since joining the SHSU staff, McWilliams has become involved in a number of university committees, including the SPEC committee, as chair as well as a member of the Founders’ Day, Ring Ceremony, Distinguished Lecturer, and University Marketing committees.

As a Texas “transplant,” McWilliams said she is excited about having just purchased with husband Jason their first home, where they live with her stepsons Derek and Bradley.

“I am looking forward to becoming active in our neighborhood association as well as the community,” she said.

McWilliams also enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, golfing, planning events, and scrap booking.


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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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Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

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