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SHSU Update For Week Of April 20


Rec Sports To Make Strides With First Triathlon

The Recreational Sports department is encouraging the Bearkat and Huntsville communities to "Just TRI-IT" during its inaugural sprint distance triathlon on May 3.

The event, including a 300-meter swim, a 10-mile bike ride and a two-mile run, all on and around campus, will kick off at 7:30 a.m. at the Health and Kinesiology Center.

“You don't have to be a highly-trained athlete to participate,” said Dustin Joubert, Rec Sports graduate assistant. “The goal is for everyone to ‘Just Tri-It!’

Participants will compete in eight age groups, ranging from under 17 to over 70, individually or in a relay, where each team member will complete a leg, in all-male, all-female or co-ed teams.

Prizes will be awarded for the overall male and female performance and for first place in all age groups and relays.

Participants will check in at the transition area, in the HKC faculty and staff parking lot, between 6:30-7 a.m. on the day of the race.

The pool will also be open from 7-7:15 a.m. for a warm-up, and the race will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by the awards ceremony at 11 a.m.

Registration is $20 for students, $25 for faculty and staff members and $30 for community members participating individually. Registration for the three-person relay teams is $50 for students, $60 for faculty and staff members and $70 for community members.

Participants will be responsible for providing their own bikes.

“Any bike will do; no need for fancy racing bikes,” Joubert said.

The registration deadline is at 5 p.m. on April 30 in HKC 162. There will be no race-day registrations.

Registration will be capped at 100 participants.

For more information, or to access the registration forms, visit the Recreational Sports wellness program events page at or contact Joubert at or 936.294.3335.


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Panel To Discuss Roots For Speaker Series

Three successful minority college graduates will field questions and discuss their roots on Wednesday (April 23).

The young leaders panel, part of the Student Advising and Mentoring Center’s Grassroots Speaker Series, will be held at 5 p.m. in Academic Building IV's Olson Auditorium.

The panel will include San Juanita Garcia, who received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in criminal justice and Spanish and a minor in sociology from SHSU; Bryce Kennard, who graduated Cum Laude from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., with a master’s degree in community development; and Tiffany Thomas, who received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Humanities degree in public relations from SHSU.

Following the discussion, a meet-and-greet with refreshments will be held in the SAM Center, located in AB IV Room 210.

The event is sponsored by the academic support programs of the Student Advising and Mentoring Center; the Elliott T. Bowers Honors Program; Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.; and the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.

For more information, contact Bernice Strauss, director of academic support programs for the SAM Center, at 936.294.4455.


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Foreign Languages Faculty Scholar Series

Alejandro Latínez, assistant professor of Spanish, will explore the “symbolic relationship” in two Latin American cultural structures on Monday (April 21).

"Relationships between the Development Discourse and Hispanic/Latin American Narrative of the Adolescent: The Construction of an Identity," part of the Foreign Languages Faculty Scholar Series, will be held from 3-4 p.m. in Evans Building Room 317.

“The development discourse has dominated Latin American political and economic projects after World War II, mainly during the 50s and 60s, associated with ideas of progress and maturity,” Latínez said.

“This discussion attempts to give our students/attendees a new breath to the reading and teaching of Latin American and Hispanic culture from an interdisciplinary approach.”

Latínez has been teaching Spanish at SHSU since the fall 2006 semester.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and his master’s and doctorates in Spanish and Portuguese from Vanderbilt University.

In addition to English, Spanish and Portuguese, Latínez is knowledgeable in reading French and Italian, according to his vita.

The lecture is free and open to faculty, staff and students

For more information, call the foreign languages department at 936.294.1441.


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iRecycle Drive To Honor Earth, Arbor Days

In celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day, SHSU’s Circle K International will host a recycled goods drive from Monday (April 21) through Friday (April 25).

iRecycle will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

Circle K International will collect paper, metal and plastic items, including newspapers, magazines, shredded paper, cardboard boxes, aluminum cans, tin food cans, milk jugs, water and soda bottles, detergent containers, plastic bags, car and truck batteries and ink cartridges, among other items.

Those who donate recyclable materials will be entered for a chance to win an iPod Nano.

This year’s Earth Day is April 22, and Arbor Day is April 25.

For more information, contact Jasmin Galarza at or 832.541.6673.


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Center Seeks Demonstrations Of ‘Excellence in Writing’

Each year, the Sam Houston Writing Center, along with the Student Government Association, the Writing in the Disciplines Program and Sigma Tau Delta, recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding students through the Sam Houston State University Excellence in Writing Award.

Nominations for “stellar” graduate and undergraduate writers are being accepted through April 29.

Nominators may submit as many students as he or she wishes from the summer and fall 2007 semesters, as well as from the current spring semester, for recognition of their outstanding writing, according to Diane Dowdey, director of the Sam Houston Writing Center and associate professor of English.

To nominate, participants should send students' names and Sam ID numbers, as well as e-mail and mailing addresses if possible, to

The annual Excellence in Writing Reception will be held from 2-4 p.m. on May 6 in Austin Hall.

Richard Eglsaer, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, will be the speaker for the awards ceremony.

Nominees will be notified and invited to attend the awards ceremony. All faculty and staff are invited to attend as well.

For more information, call the Sam Houston Writing Center at 936.294.3680 or e-mail


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Symposium To Showcase Student Research

The Elliott T. Bowers Honors Ambassadors will showcase student research from across campus on April 26.

As many as 28 students will present their findings during the first annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center.

Students who have been conducting research throughout the past year will present their findings in a professional environment during several sessions throughout the day, all of which will have a faculty moderator to critique the presenter.

There will also be an open poster session in the lobby.

The symposium's goal is to allow undergraduate students from all colleges and departments to practice presenting their research, according to event coordinator Nicole Lozano.

“Students normally don't get a chance to practice presenting their research, so we're giving them a free opportunity to do so,” she said. “The symposium allows students in all disciplines to recognize and appreciate each other's work.”

The event is free and open to the public.

“This is a great way to develop and promote undergraduate research at SHSU while helping students gain public speaking skills and gather feedback from other students and faculty across the campus,” said Honors Ambassador adviser Maria Holmes. “It provides an opportunity for students and faculty to interact and share ideas.

“It helps to bridge disciplines by exposing students to the wide variety of research occurring at Sam Houston State University," she said.

For more information, contact Lozano at or Holmes at or 936.294.1477.


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Theatre Bares It All With ‘The Full Monty’

Greg Graham
Alumnus Greg Graham, who has worked in various capacities on numerous Broadway shows, will return to campus April 23-26 as guest choreographer for "The Full Monty."

The SHSU theatre and dance department will visit a group of unemployed steel workers, in Buffalo, N.Y., who decide that the best way to pay their bills and regain their pride is by becoming male strippers for a night with “The Full Monty” Wednesday through Saturday (April 23-26).

Show times are at 8 p.m. each day, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee in the University Theater Center’s Mainstage Theatre.

Led by ringleader Jerry Lukowski (Adam Gibbs) and his best friend Dave Bukatinski (Cameron Worthen), the story tells of how the men find renewed self-esteem, the importance of friendship and discover the courage to face their personal demons through their one-night engagement.

The show features theatre and musical theatre majors Chelsea McCurdy, Larry Lozier, Sarah Reindhardt, Mark Capalbo, Rachel Logue, Justin Finch, Megan Blackmon, Tony Johnson, Kristopher Ward, Susannah Mauro, William Dehorney, Robert Evans, Christina Stroup, Adrianna Jones, Nikki Anthony, and Josh Ferhmann, as well as special guest Matthew Bittara.

The ensemble includes Eric Aultman, Richard Keck, Mitchell Greco, Eboni Bell, Monica Bradley, Brittni Merritt and Kristina Kee.

“The Full Monty” is directed by Theatre faculty Penelope Hasekoester and choreographed by SHSU alumnus Greg Graham.

Graham, who was personally-selected by Gwen Verdon for the Broadway company Fosse, has served as dance captain, company member or a choreographer for a number of Broadway shows, including Hairspray, Never Gonna Dance, Chicago and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

He has taught and worked with many stars, including John Lithgow, Harvey Fierstein, Keith Carradine, Bruce Vilanch, Lucy Arnez, Richard Kind and Jonathan Pryce, among others.

The musical director and conductor is Laura Avery, the technical director is Larry Routh and the stage manager is theatre major Sara Hodgin.

Designers include theatre faculty members Eric Marsh (lights), Gregg Buck (set) and Kristina Hanssen (costumes), as well as theatre majors Teruhisa Uchiyama and Aly Alexander (sound).

Tickets are $12 general admission or $10 with SHSU or senior citizen I.D.

The show contains adult content, adult language and nudity.

For more information call the UTC box office at 936.294.1339.


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Orchestra, Chorus To Celebrate Music, Smith

The SHSU Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir will “celebrate music” as conductor Carol Smith gives her finale performance at SHSU during a concert on Friday (April 25).

The groups will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the University Heights Baptist Church in Huntsville.

The concert will include works of late SHSU music chair Fisher Tull and Giacomo Puccini, as well as several selections from Carl Orff's “Camina Burana” and selections from Gabriel Fauré's “Requiem Mass,” according to director of choral activities Allen Hightower.

It will also feature music faculty members Christopher Michel and Kristin Hightower as soloists.

In addition, “this concert will mark the completion of the distinguished teaching career of Dr. Carol Smith who has given close to 30 years of service to Sam Houston,” Hightower said.

Smith, professor of music and director of orchestral studies, is retiring this year but will teach other coursework half time beginning in the fall, she said.

While at SHSU, she served as an associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for approximately five years and as associate chair of the School of Music for eight years.

In addition to her duties in orchestral studies, she is the Artistic Director of the Huntsville Youth Orchestra and was musical adviser of the International Conductors' Institute for 10 years.

During her career, she has made guest conducting appearances in nine European countries, including with the Vienna Academy of Music orchestra at the International Festival of Music in Feldkirch, Austria, and festivals in Germany and Switzerland, as well as 27 states throughout America.

Tickets are $10 for adults and children over seven, $5 for senior citizens and SHSU students with an ID and free for children under six.

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


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Planetarium Tours Spring Constellations

The physics department will continue its tour of the “Spring Skies and Hubble Vision” on Friday (April 25).

The planetarium series program, 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.

These constellations include Gemini, Cancer, and "what I call 'galaxy country' with the constellations of Virgo, Coma Bernices, Leo and Ursa Major," said Michael Prokosch, staff aid for the physics department.

The program will also explore “all things Hubble,” from its launch, discoveries, and famous images taken, such as the Hubble Deep Field, Hubble Ultra Deep Field, the Pillars of Creation and more with “Hubble Vision,” according to Prokosch.

“The Hubble Space Telescope is expected to receive a final service mission from the space shuttle in summer of 2008 to extend its life well into the next decade,” he said. “Space will never again look the same.”

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.

“Essentially a time machine, the planetarium's projector can show how the night sky appears to an observer at any point in time from any place on the earth, from 100,000 years in the past, to 100,000 years into the future,” he said.

The program will last approximately one hour, and admission is free.

Other show dates for the semester include May 9 and May 23.

For more information or current show times for the planetarium or the observatory, call 936.294.3664 or e-mail Prokosch at


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Students Advocate Counseling Initiatives To Brady

Counselor Ed students, Kevin Brady
Graduate students in the school counseling program (from left) Donnie Pittman, Genette Stanton, Barbara Gagliano and Carrie Shields met with Congressman Kevin Brady (center) to discuss the field and legislation as an assignment in March.

Four graduate students from Judy Nelson's school counseling course recently visited with Congressman Kevin Brady to discuss the profession and lobby for potential legislation being looked at in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Donnie Pittman, Genette Stanton, Barbara Gagliano and Carrie Shields met with Brady on March 25 as an assignment for the class.

“The purpose was to promote legislation that positively impacts professional school counselors,” said Nelson, an assistant professor of counselor education. “For example, smaller student to counselor ratios and fewer clerical duties in order to spend more time on direct services for children.”

Among the topics the students addressed were the qualifications for professional school counselors and the increasing need for them, and the various roles counselors play in the schools, as well as several specific acts of legislation Brady might directly support.

“He did tell us that the vast amount of public education funding is provided at the state level,” Nelson said. “The federal budget only provides a very small amount (below 10 percent) of the total, and most federal dollars go to fund specialized programs.”

In addition, the group reviewed the overall counseling program at SHSU and the department's CACREP accreditation.

“He appeared quite pleased with the university's continued advancements,” Nelson said.


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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
April 18, 2008
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