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SHSU Update For Week Of Nov. 11


Event To Promote Butting Out Tobacco

The Student Health Center will encourage students to “kick the habit” during the Great Kat Smoke Out on Thursday (Nov. 15).

Part of the national Great American Smoke Out, the SHC will provide free breath carbon monoxide screenings and have students make their own stress balls to deal with the pressure to smoke from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

“This is a day when smokers are especially encouraged to give up smoking to improve their health,” said Michelle Lovering, SHC health programming coordinator.

During the Great Kat Smoke Out, students will also have the opportunity to develop a quit plan with a health educator and discuss medication and tobacco replacement options that can aide them in quitting.

In addition, “the Smokerlyzer” will be used to demonstrate how much carbon monoxide remains in a person’s blood stream hours after their last cigarette.

“Current smokers and those exposed to copious amounts of secondhand smoke are encouraged to take part in this screening,” Lovering said. “And any student who is feeling the stress of college life is encouraged to make their very own, customized stress ball.”

According to the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study administered at SHSU in 2004, 23 percent of students had smoked in the past 30 days, while 7.5 percent had smoked cigars and 2 percent smoked pipe tobacco in the same time frame.

“While these numbers are comparable to national averages, they are still alarming given the health risks associated with smoking,” Lovering said.

Smoking is the leading behavioral cause of death in the U.S. and contributes to many of the top killers such as heart disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“Quitting smoking is without a doubt the best thing a person can do to improve his/her lifelong health, but it is not easy,” Lovering said. “The average smoker tries to quit five times before he/she is successful.

“Having a day like the Great Kat Smoke Out that is devoted to quitting helps people find support and motivation to stick to their decision,” she said.

For more information, contact Lovering at 936.294.4347 or, or visit the SHC Web site at


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Campus To Open For Potential Students Nov. 17

Prospective students and parents will have the opportunity to visit the Sam Houston State University campus to see what the university has to offer on Saturday (Nov. 17).

Saturdays @ Sam, sponsored by the Visitor Center, will begin with check-in and parent coffee from 8-9 a.m. in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum, followed by a 30-minute opening session at 9 a.m.

Throughout the day, students and their parents can meet with academic advisers at the university’s Student Advising and Mentoring Center, have academic sessions with two different colleges of potential majors, tour residence halls and the campus, attend an organizations fair, and get information from various departments on campus.

Breakfast and lunch items will be available for purchase throughout the day at the Johnson Coliseum concession stands. Lunch will also be available from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Café Belvin for $5, as well as at the Paw Print.

The next Saturday @ Sam will be held on March 29, 2008.

Registration forms, online registration, directions to the university and more information is available online at

For more information, call 936.294.1844 or e-mail


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Basketball Fans To Tailgate Before Tech Game

The SHSU Alumni Association, Student Activities department and Bearkat basketball fans will begin getting ready for Wednesday’s game against Texas Tech a few hours early with a tailgate party on the west side of the Johnson Coliseum.

“We anticipate one of the largest crowds to ever see a basketball game in Johnson Coliseum,” said Charlie Vienne, director for Alumni Relations. “To bring Texas Tech and their head coach, Bobby Knight to Huntsville is unprecedented, and we want alumni, the community, and students to come out and support the Bearkats.”

During the tailgate party, which will begin at 5 p.m., the Alumni Association and Student Activities will serve gumbo under its tents and give away game paraphernalia to all alumni, students and basketball fans.

“We feel this game will kick-off a great season of Bearkat Basketball, and we want the alumni and community involved,” Vienne said. “These athletic events and this type atmosphere really give our alumni and fans something to rally around.

“It’s important that we orange out the coliseum and show our support.”

The Nov. 14 men’s game will begin at 7 p.m.

For more information, call 936.294.1841.


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Planning Meeting To Be Held For New Reading Program

An Associated Press poll released this past August revealed that one in four Americans did not read a single book last year.

While that may be the overall practice, First Year Experience director Keri Rogers has begun taking steps to ensure that trend does not carry over to SHSU students, faculty and staff members through a new “Common Reader Program.”

While the program is currently in its pilot stage, the FYE office will host two informational meetings for faculty and staff on Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 14-15) to form committees to fully implement the program next fall.

The Wednesday meeting will be held from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 320, and the Thursday meeting will be held from 2-3 p.m., also in LSC Room 320.

Through the “Common Reader Program,” incoming freshmen are assigned a book to read and then the book is integrated and discussed in various core classes, Rogers said.

“The idea is to get them to read it before they get to school, and then it can be used as a common experience,” Rogers said. “People find that the students will talk about it when they’re eating at one of the cafeterias or when they’re sitting in their rooms.

“It’s what we call a common intellectual experience, where the faculty, the students and the staff have something in common,” she said. “So even if you’re working in your office, and you’ve read the book and they’ve read the book, you can have a discussion about it. That’s the idea.”

During the informational meetings, Rogers will be seeking faculty and staff members to give ideas on and serve on committees for book selection, curriculum infusion, activities and events, publicity and public relations and assessment.

For more information, contact Rogers at 936.294.3422 or


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Sociology Prof To Get ‘Up Close and Personal’

Karen Douglas, assistant professor of sociology, will be the next professor to get to know SHSU students outside of the classroom as part of the Student Advising and Mentoring Center’s “Up Close and Personal” speaker series on Wednesday (Nov. 14).

"Designed to help our students and university community build mentoring relationships with our outstanding faculty," the 30-minute lunchtime presentation will be held at noon at the Farrington Pit, said Bernice Strauss, director of academic support programs for the SAM Center.

Since coming to SHSU in 2005, Douglas has earned the university’s Faculty Development Grant for a study on “Bridging the Divides along the Rio-Grande River Basin” as well as a $50,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to study “Bridging the Divide: Water Conflicts along the Texas-Mexico Border,” according to her vita.

She previously taught at Prairie View A&M, Tarleton State and San Jacinto College.

Douglas earned her bachelor’s, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.
Students are encouraged to bring their lunches for the brown-bag event.

In the event of inclement weather, the series will be held at the bookstore atrium on the first floor of the Lowman Student Center.

For more information, contact Strauss at 936.294.4455 or


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Vermont Professor To Discuss Economics Of Medicine

Marc Law, assistant professor of economics at the University of Vermont in Burlington, will discuss “Medical Board Characteristics and Physician Discipline: An Empirical Analysis” on Thursday (Nov. 15).

The lecture, part of the Economics Fall 2007 Seminar Series, will be held from 3:30-5 p.m. in Smith-Hutson Building Room 139.

Law has taught at UVM since 2003. He previously served as a research economist at The Fraser Institute in Vancouver, British Columbia.

His research interests include the fields of economic history, regulation, and political economy.

One strand of his research examines the role of asymmetric information about product quality in the rise of regulation in late 19th and early 20th century America, and another analyzes the political economy of earmarking at the United States Department of Agriculture, according to his Web page.

He received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Canadian universities, the University of British Columbia and Queen’s University, respectively, and another master’s and his doctoral degree from Washington University in Missouri.

For more information, contact Hiranya Nath, associate professor in the economics and international business department, at 936.294.1265.


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Former Student To Discuss Physics Of Technology, James' Lecture Postponed

A former SHSU student will address oilfield technology during a lecture on Friday (Nov. 16).

Derek Buster will discuss "Oilfield Technology and Measurements" at 2 p.m. in Farrington Building Room 209 as part of the Physics Colloquium.

Buster now works for Baker Hughes, the world's third-largest oilfield services company behind Schlumberger and Halliburton.

Renee James' lecture, "Where Babies REALLY Come From: The Astrophysical Origins of the Elements of Life," originally scheduled for Thursday (Nov. 15), has been postponed until Nov. 29 due to an illness.

For more information, call the physics department at 936.294.1601.


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Tour To Give ‘MoonDreams,’ ‘Autumn Sky’ Info

The physics department will give the public another tour of “what’s currently up in the autumn night sky” with its planetarium series program on Friday (Nov. 16).

The “Autumn Sky” and “MoonDreams,” which shows attendees which constellations, stars and planets they can expect to see in the upcoming weeks, will be held at 7 p.m. in the Planetarium, located in Farrington Building Room F102.

"MoonDreams" tells the story of Perseus and Andromeda and talks about our moon and where it comes from, as well as introduces other moons in the solar system, according to Michael Prokosch, staff aide for the physics department.

In addition, each show will include a discussion about this year’s Dec. 24 Mars Opposition and the "Mars Hoax," an e-mail that circulates every August making exaggerated claims about the planet's visibility from Earth, Prokosch said.

The show will last approximately one hour.

The Planetarium seats up to 29 visitors and includes a dome that is approximately 18 feet in diameter and more than 20 feet high in the center, according to Prokosch.

Admission is free.

The final fall showings will be held on Dec. 7, at 7 p.m., which will also include information on the annual Geminid Meteor Shower and why it is unique compared to other meteor showers. The best night to view the Geminid Meteor Shower will be Dec. 13 at about 10 p.m., Prokosch said.

For more information on current show times for the Planetarium or the Observatory, call 936.294.3664 or e-mail Prokosch at


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Theatre To Visit ‘42nd Street’

The SHSU department of theatre and dance will go backstage on a Broadway show for its presentation of “42nd Street” beginning Wednesday (Nov. 14).

Show times are 8 p.m. each evening through Saturday (Nov. 17), with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, in the University Theatre Center’s Mainstage Theatre.

Set in 1933, “42nd Street” follows small-town girl Peggy Sawyer, who arrives in New York to audition for the new Broadway show “Pretty Lady.”

She arrives too late to audition, but a group of chorus girls take pity on her and invite her to lunch. When the girls encourage Peggy to show them a dance routine, the “Pretty Lady” director Julian Marsh witnesses it and decides to give Peggy a role in the show.

But on opening night, Peggy trips and crashes into the show’s lead actress, Dorothy Brock, breaking Dorothy’s ankle. Peggy is fired on the spot, and both actresses’ futures with the show are thrown into jeopardy.

“42nd Street” stars Alissa LaVergne as Peggy, Cameron Worthen as Julian and Rachel Logue as Dorothy.

The show also features theatre and musical theatre majors Monica Bradley as Anytime Annie, Allison Forsythe as Phyllis, Kristina Kee as Lorraine, Lee Jane Walker as Maggie, Eric Aultman as Billy Lawlor, Tony Johnson as Andy Lee, Sam Weeks as Bert, Robert Evans as Pat Denning, Jared Cummings as Abner Dillon, and John Ryan DelBosque as Oscar/Mac.

The women’s ensemble is comprised of Peeper Fowler, Madison Turner, Adrianna Jones, Stephanie Taylor, Lauren Wood, Darcy Shytles, Stephanie Smith, Sara Reinhardt, Melanie Kendall, Heather Sanders, and Stephanie Dew.

The men’s ensemble is comprised of Wes Miles, William Dehorney, Mark Ivy, Mitchell Greco, Dominic Di Felice, Johann Wood, Kris Ward, Michael McClure, Larry Lozier, Mark Capalbo, Kendrick Mitchell, Kent Coppock, and Darrell Joe.

“42nd Street” is directed by dance faculty member Jonathan Charles, accompanied by musical director Laura Avery, and theatre faculty member designers Eric Marsh (lights), Gregg Buck (set) and Kristina Hanssen (costumes).

The stage manager is theatre major Nick Custer and the technical director is Larry Routh.

Tickets are $12 for general admission or $10 with an SHSU or senior citizen ID. Children under the age of three will not be admitted.

For more information, call the UTC Box Office at 936.294.1339.


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Orchestra To Perform In China

The SHSU Symphony Orchestra will be tooting their own horns all the way around the world as they depart campus for China on Thursday (Nov. 15).

The 2007 China Concert Tour will include stops in Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai, where the orchestra will play four concerts before returning to Huntsville Nov. 26.

The full orchestra will perform “wonderful American music” at Beijing’s Tianjin Nankai University and China Conservatory of Music; the Xi’an Conservatory of Music; and Shanghai’s Huadong University.

Along the tour, the musicians will also have the opportunity to sightsee at such famous places as the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, and the Terracotta Warriors Museum, as well as see a performance at the Chinese Acrobat Theatre.

While the orchestra has traveled to England and taken a tour of Budapest, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria in past years, this will be the first trip to China, according to Carol Smith, director of orchestral studies.

“This sort of student-to-student trip can be of such enormous benefit in the broadest sense that "our individual mission" is sometimes overwhelming to ponder,” she said.


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Disney To Recruit On Campus

If your ideal internship includes spending the spring with Mickey, Minnie and Pluto the Career Services Office can help make it a reality.

The Disney College Program will be on campus recruiting students from a variety of academic backgrounds to work at Disney World in Orlando during the spring 2008 semester on Wednesday (Nov. 14), at 2 p.m. in Lowman Student Center Room 302.

Interns can work “onstage,” performing such tasks as vacation planning, working the rides or theatre shows, guest monitoring, performing in characters, food service, hospitality, merchandise sales or even life guarding. “Backstage” roles include costuming or working in the kitchen.

During the program, Disney will also provide interested students information on housing, the educational opportunities that accompany the internship, the application process and other benefits of the internships, according to the Disney College Program Web site.

“If a student is interested in working for Disney after they graduate with their degree then they should do the internship with Disney,” said Vinessa Mundorff, Career Services employment specialist. “This is how they get their foot in the door, as the old saying goes.”

A complete overview of the Disney College Program is available online at

For more information on the presentation, contact Mundorff at 936.294.1713.


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Changes Implemented For Spring Registration

While registration by classification for the spring semester opened to honors students at 5:30 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 9), last-minute changes have been made to the registration schedule for all other students.

Doctoral, graduate, post baccalaureates, and seniors will still be allowed to register on Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 12-13), followed by juniors on Wednesday (Nov. 14), sophomores on Thursday (Nov. 15), and freshmen on Friday (Nov. 16).

However, students will only be allowed to register at specific hours from 5:30-10:30 p.m. each night, alphabetically categorized by last name. The complete alphabetized schedule can be found online.

After 10:30 p.m., all students registering on that day may do so.

Student classification is as follows: seniors, 94-plus hours; juniors, 64-93 hours; sophomores, 32-63 hours; and freshmen, 1-31 hours.

Registration will close at 4 p.m. on Dec. 5.

Registration assistance will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Registrar' s Computer Lab, located in Estill Building Room 331.

For more information, call the Registrar's Office 936.294.1052.


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Send Update Items Here

Information for the SHSU Update can be sent to the Office of Public Relations electronically at or to any of the media contacts listed below.

Please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

All information for news stories should be sent to the office at least a week in advance to give the PR staff ample time to make necessary contacts and write the story.

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
Nov. 9, 2007
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