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SHSU Update For Week Of Sept. 25


Cancellations, Postponements Made Due To Rita

Several last-minute changes have been made for events this week due to issues stemming from Hurricane Rita.

The Student Advising and Mentoring Center's Grassroots speaker series has been cancelled for Wednesday (Sept. 28), as Abelardo Saavedra, superintendent of schools for the Houston Independent School District, had responsibilities within HISD that prevented him from leaving Houston. For more information, call the SAM Center at 936.294.4444.

The SHSU department of theatre and dance's performance of “The Exonerated," has been rescheduled for Oct. 12-15. For more information, call the University Theatre Center at 936.294.1339.

Finally, The SHSU Symphony Orchestrta's “to the movies, musicals and the opera” concert, originally scheduled for Saturday (Oct. 1), at 7:30 p.m. at University Heights Baptist Church, has been postponed until further notice. For more information, call the School of Music at 936.294.1360.


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SHSU Donates Over $8,000 For Katrina Survivors

Sam Houston State University faculty, staff and administrators pulled together to collect $8,010.80 for Hurricane Katrina survivors.

“ I am pleased with the generous response of our employees, who came together so quickly to help those affected by a very difficult situation,” said university President James F. Gaertner.

The money raised will be sent to the American Red Cross.


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Lecture Series Speakers To Discuss Beto, Prison System

David Horton, professor of criminal justice at St. Edwards University, and George Nielsen, retired professor of history at Concordia University, will be the next Beto Chair Lecture Series speakers on Tuesday (Sept. 27).

Horton and Nielsen will give reflections on the writing “Walking George: The Life of George John Beto and the Rise of the Modern Texas Prison System” from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Criminal Justice Center’s Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom.

The lecture will be followed by a discussion in the Bates Room for graduate students, and a reception, which will be held in the Alumni Room from 4-5 p.m.

The Beto Chair Lecture Series is sponsored by the College of Criminal Justice.

For more information, call 936.294.1635.


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FitBucks Shapes Up For Fall

The Fall 2005 FitBucks program is off and running, and jogging, lifting, biking, swimming, mowing lawns and walking the golf course, to mention just a few of the activities that can win prizes through Dec. 11.

FitBucks, which kicked off on Monday (Sept. 19), is a program that rewards participants with prizes such as a water bottle, workout towel, workout slingbag, or T-shirt, based on the number of points earned.

To participate, students, faculty, and staff send in a weekly log filled in with the time spent exercising. Results will be posted online to encourage participants to be active.

In addition to activities listed on the FitBucks Web site, other activities may also be included, pending approval by Tina DeAses, assistant director of wellness programs.

Those who want to participate can begin at any time during the semester; however, before participation begins, e-mail DeAses, at, to receive a FitBucks ID number.

The program will run until Dec. 11, when the last log is due.

To download a workout log, view approved activities, or for more information, visit the FitBucks page from the Recreational Sports Web site.


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Health Center To Host Open House, Present Award

The Student Health Center will celebrate its recent renovation completion and its receiving the AAA and Center for College Health and Safety's College and University Drinking and Driving Prevention Award with an open house on Friday (Sept. 30).

SHC staff will be on hand to meet and greet patrons and refreshments will be served from 2-4 p.m. in the Student Health Center.

The SHC building was closed from August 2004 until May 2005, operating from modular buildings in the Estill Hall parking lot, though renovations and remodeling continued after the staff moved back into the building.

“ The biggest change is really the improved efficiency and use of space,” said Michelle Lovering, SHC health programming coordinator.

Among these changes are the addition of two examination rooms, which will allow for the addition of a new provider and additional office space to resume the peer education program; a streamlined front office, which allows for faster service as patients check in; and a modern heating ventilation and air conditioning system, which keeps clean, fresh air circulating throughout the building.

“ What students will notice more than anything is the aesthetics,” Lovering said. “We have new exam tables and furniture in all of the examination rooms plus video monitors that display educational videos.

“ The lobby and nurses' station have been updated to evoke a more pleasant atmosphere,” she said. “Plus, we will have updated artwork in all of the common areas.”

In addition, the drinking and driving prevention award will also be presented to SHC staff members during the open house. The SHC received recognition for its efforts to reduce drinking and driving in 2004.

“ The SHC has been the leader on campus for alcohol programming and has encouraged and supported efforts for the campus-wide alcohol-reduction measures that have continued in 2005 with the SHSU Alcohol Abuse Initiative,” Lovering said.


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Ortiz Has Explosive Summer With FBI

Forensic chemistry and criminal justice double major Nancy Ortiz recently returned from Quantico, Va., from her honors internship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice.

During her 10-week internship, Ortiz was assigned to the Explosives Unit, where she and special agents carried out a wide variety of assignments such as post blast residue analysis by detonating very powerful explosives containing TNT, C-4, grenades, smokeless powders, among many more.

These explosive residues were then collected and taken back to the laboratory for thorough analysis utilizing instrumentation.

When applying to the honor’s internship program, Ortiz was required to undergo intense security measures, involving fingerprinting, a drug test, polygraph test, interviews and a top-secret security clearance.

“ It was a very extensive process, but it was an effort worth waiting for,” she said.

While at Quantico, the FBI was visited by high-ranking individuals, including President George W. Bush, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and FBI Director Robert Mueller III.

Watching through the lab window, Ortiz observed their arrival and departure, escorted by six helicopters.

“ It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that was wonderful to experience this summer as an intern,” Ortiz said. “This internship gave me a great insight of career opportunities available within the FBI.

“ Being able to work with special agents and observing their daily work, which involved extensive traveling, analyzing evidence and participating in moot court greatly motivates me to apply for a permanent position in the FBI Laboratory Division,” she said.

Ortiz is an Eagle Pass High School graduate who received her associate in arts and associate in criminal justice from Laredo Community College.


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Send Update Items Here

Please send information for the SHSU Update to the Office of Public Relations at SHSU. For electronic access to SHSU news see the public relations Web page Today@Sam.


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SHSU Media Contacts: Frank Krystyniak, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
Sept. 25, 2005
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to

This page maintained by SHSU's Office of Public Relations
Director: Frank Krystyniak
Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
Located in the 115 Administration Building
Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834